Benjamin’s Brothers Reaches its Target

April 22, 2014

JTH director of community investment Sally Xerri-Brooks with Benjamin Zephaniah books and CDS

Birmingham’s John Taylor Hospice is celebrating after its Benjamin’s Brothers crowdfunding campaign proved so popular it has hit its target well before the deadline date.

The Hospice set up a crowdfunding website a month ago calling for pledges to raise £3,000 to buy a prosthetic bottom to be used to combat prostate cancer. And, with two weeks still to go, it has reached the total.

The Hospice can now go ahead and order a customised prosthetic rubber bottom which will be used to help raise awareness of prostate cancer in African and Caribbean communities in Birmingham.

Director of community investment Sally Xerri-Brooks says they have been delighted with the response to their campaign.

“We know that one in every four black men in the UK will be diagnosed with prostate cancer and be more likely to develop this cancer earlier. That’s double the overall risk faced by all men,” she says.

“And we know that early diagnosis is the key to survival. By creating specially made bottoms, which are black rather than the traditional pink, we can take that message into our local communities as part of our Benjamin’s Brothers campaign.

“What we didn’t know was how much this campaign would fire up enthusiasm in the city. We hoped it would and believed it would and the fact that we have raised the total so quickly shows how much local people, community groups and companies in Birmingham share our passion for early detection and treatment.”

And she adds that people can still continue to support the crowdfunding bid.

“Even though we have hit our target people can continue to give to the crowdfunding site until midday on Friday April 25. Any excess will be used to help fund the roadshows where we will be taking the bottoms out and allowing people to feel for themselves the difference between a ‘normal’ and an ‘enlarged’ prostate.”

Benjamin’s Brothers has been supported by many high profile public figures including respected church leaders and community activists as well as Birmingham poet and writer Benjamin Zephaniah who donated signed books and CDs as gifts for people who pledged money.

The campaign launch at St Barnabas Church in Erdington was supported by Birmingham City Council cabinet member and the city lead on social cohesion and equalities Coun John Cotton, Birmingham Empowerment Forum founder and director Desmond Jaddoo and Chair of Erdington District Coun Penny Holbrook.

The next step is for the Hospice to take its potentially life-saving message out into local communities.

CEO Kate Phipps says: “We asked people to help us buy a new bottom for Birmingham and they responded brilliantly. Time and again, asking the people of Birmingham what they need and how to help makes a difference, making prostate cancer a real priority and a call to action.

“Benjamin’s Brothers is about making sure sons can outlive their mothers and children will know their fathers and grandfathers. If we are there at the beginning we won’t need to be there at the end.”

Click here for the Benjamin’s Brothers crowdfunding site. For more information on John Taylor Hospice see or call 0121 465 2000. Follow JTH updates on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

If you would like to support John Taylor Hospice contact the Community Investment Crew on 0121 465 2000 or see the

John Taylor Hospice are a holder of the Social Enterprise Mark

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