A sell-out audience of more than 500 people attended the Man@Manchester event on 26th November, raising an amazing £300,000 for local charity, Beechwood Cancer Care.

The annual comedy lunch, sponsored by Pareto Financial Planning, was attended by businessmen and women from all over the Northwest. Master of Ceremonies was Sports Presenter Hugh Ferris, and a guest appearance was made by the legendary Kevin Keegan, running an auction lot for six of his signed football shirts. Comedian and long-time supporter of the Charity, Justin Moorhouse brought lots of laughter into the room and the sensational continental party band, The Swan Band provided a musical extravaganza.

The event, held at the Lancashire County Cricket Club, featured an auction and raffle, with prizes including a portrait of Ronaldo painted on the day by speed painter Dave Sharp, raising a record £35,000. Other auction lots generously donated to raise money for Beechwood included a three-day yacht charter, a legends five a side football match and a signed Peter Hook guitar.

Beechwood Cancer Care is a Stockport-based charity supporting people from across the Northwest affected by cancer or other life-limiting illness. It costs £4,000 a day to run Beechwood and to provide emotional, psychological and practical support for patients, carers, family, children and the bereaved.

The Charity’s ability to fundraise was greatly impacted due to the global pandemic. Through the dedication of the Board and the team, for the majority of lockdown, Beechwood’s centre safely remained open to those affected by cancer, with the introduction of telephone and online support for those isolating.

John Stevenson MBE, Founder of Pareto and chairman of Beechwood’s board of trustees, is the driving force behind Man@Manchester, with specialist corporate event organisers, Taylor Lynn Corporation (TLC) providing their expertise in support of the Charity.

John, who was awarded an MBE in the Queens New Year’s Honours for his fundraising for the Charity, said: “Last year was incredibly difficult for the charity sector, but it is a pleasure to see the welcome return of these vital fundraising events.”

“We were delighted to be able to host our seventh Man@Manchester and were humbled by the amazing support we receive from business people across the region, raising a record amount for the charity. The funds will be an incredible boost for the tremendous services Beechwood provides to individuals and families.”

“I would also like to say a special thanks to those who gave their time freely to help plan and deliver what was a fantastic afternoon for a fantastic cause.”

Linda Steggles, chief executive of Beechwood, said: “Man@Manchester is becoming an event to mark on the calendar, not only to support a great local charity but because it combines charitable support with a spectacular afternoon of networking and stunning, quality entertainment.”

“John goes above and beyond to make the event a huge success and we are so grateful for the time and energy he puts into it, always going the extra mile. I’d also like to thank all the guests for their wonderful support and incredible generosity, without which Beechwood would simply be unable to continue delivering its vital services.”

In 2022 Beechwood will be looking for more corporate supporters to reach a wider community and raise awareness of the vital work Beechwood does. To find out more please click here.