Tommy Banner, accordionist and vocalist with The Wurzels, is set to play a starring role in the unveiling of EDF’s new charity partnership with Prostate Cancer UK. The Somerset-based music legend, who is celebrating his 53rd year with the chart-topping band, will visit the power station on Tuesday 28 January and officially launch Hinkley Point B’s part in the new three-year charity partnership. While at the power station, Tommy, will take the opportunity to talk to staff and contract partners about his personal battle with the disease, which he was diagnosed within 2005 and also the importance of early diagnosis.
Tommy said: “My late wife, Chris, and I were visiting one of our friends who was recovering in hospital having just had his cancer-ridden prostate removed. He pleaded and insisted, and made me promise, that I would get myself tested for the disease. So we shook hands and left. “Of course I wasn’t keen to go to my GP for the test as I didn’t have any symptoms, nor did I feel poorly. But Chris made the appointment, and the next day we both went, and we were so glad we did because my results showed my PSA blood count was high. This led to further tests, which then proved positive for Prostate Cancer. There is no doubt that if I hadn’t gone for the test when I did, then I wouldn’t still be here now, and this is all thanks to Vic, and the love and persistence of Chris and the wonderful support I received from my family.” Following his unexpected diagnosis, Tommy took a short break from the band and received life-saving treatment, including the removal of his prostate and radiotherapy. Within four months he had fully recovered and was back on stage performing with The Wurzels again, something he still does to this day. “I am one of the lucky ones as I have lived to tell the story” added Tommy. “My advice to all men would be don’t be frightened, talk to your partner, and go to the doctors and get yourselves tested for prostate cancer… it may save your life.”
Hinkley Point B’s Station Director, Peter Evans, will also be doing his bit for the charity on the launch day by taking part in a 90-minute static row challenge.
Peter explained: “This is a wonderful charity to support as prostate cancer has touched so many lives, and not only will we be raising awareness about the condition at the partnership launch, we will also be raising money for the charity. “Statistics tell us sadly one person dies from prostate cancer every 45 minutes in the UK, and I have accepted a challenge to row on a static rowing machine for 90 minutes to raise money. “Applying these statistics would mean two people will die from prostate cancer in the 90 minutes I am rowing.” EDF’s last charity partner was with Breast Cancer Now, and the partnership ended in September 2019. During the three-year partnership, employees raised more than £450,000, and with an additional donation from EDF, the company’s fundraising total was over £600,000. Staff and contract partners from Hinkley Point B contributed over £28,500.