A partnership between a North East charity and a restaurant chain has helped raise awareness of the dangers of testicular cancer. The OddBalls Foundation, based in North Shields, and Gourmet Burger Kitchen (GBK), part of the national Boparan Restaurant Group, teamed up last month for ‘Go Nuts This Father’s Day’, in a UK-wide campaign that encouraged men to check themselves for signs of the disease. The initiative combined printed material, a fundraising addition to the GBK menu, and restaurant visits by an OddBalls Foundation ambassador. The project proved to be a big success, managing to communicate important health messages to men in an everyday setting.

Go Nuts This Father’s Day ran from 13-19 June. The OddBalls Foundation created dual branded ‘Check Yourself’ guides which were promoted in all 30 of GBK’s UK restaurants. They were displayed in toilets and smaller A5 versions were placed on tables. GBK brought back one of its iconic menu items – the Blazing Sombrero burger – for the week’s campaign, and donated 50p from each sale to The OddBalls Foundation.

George Hobbs, university ambassador manager at The OddBalls Foundation, spent the week visiting different GBK restaurants, providing customers with an opportunity to speak with him about testicular cancer and the work of the foundation. GBK led proactive PR and social media activity to support the initiative, reaching almost two million people with important messages about how to self-check for signs of the disease. George was interviewed by regional radio stations around the country and the campaign even featured on BBC Radio 1.

George Hobbs comments: “Go Nuts This Father’s Day was a really engaging way to communicate some important and serious messages about testicular cancer to men. It was excellent to work with the Gourmet Burger Kitchen and The OddBalls Foundation is grateful for the team’s amazing support. I found it really rewarding to have the opportunity to talk to diners and I think that the way that we all pitched the campaign made it easier for people to speak about a topic that can be tricky.”

Phil Neale, marketing director at the Boparan Restaurant Group, adds: “Joining forces with The OddBalls Foundation was an ideal fit for Gourmet Burger Kitchen for Father’s Day. We will always be about serving the best burgers in the country, but we are always looking to do some good alongside that where we can. Working with the foundation, we were able to raise awareness of testicular cancer that was really engaging and didn’t have a negative impact on diners’ experiences. The feedback we’ve had has been really positive and of course it was great to raise some money for the charity with the return or our iconic Blazing Sombrero burger.”

The OddBalls Foundation is a testicular cancer charity that was founded in 2015 and is closely associated with colourful underwear brand OddBalls, with both being based in North Shields. Testicular cancer is the most prominent form of the disease in males aged 15-35 and someone is diagnosed with it every hour in the UK. If detected early, it is curable in over 90% of cases. Since it was founded, The OddBalls Foundation has recruited 50 university ambassadors around the country to work on its behalf in schools, colleges and businesses, raising awareness of the disease, helping breakdown the stigma, and encouraging people to check themselves regularly for unusual lumps or changes in their testicles.

Founded in 2000 and part of the Boparan Restaurant Group, Gourmet Burger Kitchen is a restaurant chain that specialises in gourmet burgers. GBK now has 30 restaurants in the UK and Ireland.

To find out more about The OddBalls Foundation and its work visit https://theoddballsfoundation.com and www.facebook.com/TheOddBallsFoundation, email hello@theoddballsfoundation.com, or follow @oddballsfdn on Instagram and Twitter. To find out more about Gourmet Burger Kitchen visit www.gbk.co.uk and follow @gbkburgers on social media.