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Dame Kelly Holmes helps ScottishPower employee ‘Shine’ to beat cancer


Today (9 September), Dame Kelly Holmes put ScottishPower employee Michelle Nicol through her paces to help in the fight against cancer.  Together, at London’s Millennium Bridge, they harnessed their positive energy with a gold medal inspired warm-up to prepare Michelle for Cancer Research UK’s Shine Night Walk later this month.

Dame Kelly, retired Olympian and business woman, took time out from her busy schedule to help Michelle boost her endurance for the marathon night time walk, where she will raise vital funds for ScottishPower’s charity partner Cancer Research UK.

The double gold Olympic champion shared some of her winning tips with Michelle who is a Senior Manager in SME Marketing for the energy firm to help her prepare – physically and mentally - for the event.

Michelle is participating in Shine as part of a team from ScottishPower to raise money to help beat cancer sooner.  She feels particularly passionate about this because her job-share colleague and friend, Jo Heraghty, now 46, was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer in 2008 and had to undergo a mastectomy when she was 39 and her baby was just nine months old.

With close friends and family currently receiving treatment for cancer and, having lost a good friend and her coach Dave Arnold to the disease, Dame Kelly knows too well the impact that cancer can have.

Commenting on her support for this event she said: “It’s great to be supporting ScottishPower with its ongoing fundraising efforts for Cancer Research UK.  Shine is a brilliant event that gives people of all ages and fitness levels the chance to get together, have fun and importantly raise money for life-saving research to beat cancer.

“Michelle is around the same age as me and a woman after my own heart, who enjoys keeping fit and leading a healthy lifestyle.  I worked with her to take things up a level to help build her endurance for this night-time marathon.  It’s for such an important cause and there’s still time to enter so I’d encourage everyone to sign up.”

Michelle Nicol said: “I’m really excited to be taking part in Shine. We get so many opportunities at ScottishPower to be right at the heart of fundraising for Cancer Research UK and have already raised an incredible £8 million over the last three years.

“Jo’s news was shocking but her resilience and positivity throughout her treatment was so inspiring. I did my best to support her at the time and now I want to do this walk for her, to raise more money to help in the fight against cancer.   Dame Kelly’s training advice has been hugely motivational and I’m ready to Shine – bring it on.”

Jo Heraghty said: “The minute someone tells you that you have cancer it’s truly shocking.  Your life changes in an instant and you’re faced with your own mortality – for me that was the prospect of not being around to see my, then, five-year old daughter and new baby son grow up.

“It therefore means so much that Michelle and the ScottishPower team are taking on Shine Night Walk this month to raise as much money as possible. I survived cancer, many people don't.  With continued fundraising and research, more people will be able to say I had cancer but cancer didn't get me.”

ScottishPower is the lead partner  of Cancer Research UK’s Shine Night Walk and since 2012 has raised more than £8 million  as part of a wider partnership with the charity.  The energy provider recently renewed their partnership for a further 3 years.

Shine closes for entries on Sunday 20 September. To enter or volunteer, visit

Full case study story of Michelle and Jo is available on request.

Notes to editors

  • Shine Night Walk, in partnership with ScottishPower, is Cancer Research UK’s night-time fundraising walking full and half marathon, held in London on Saturday 26 September
  • Since it began in 2010, Shine Night Walk has raised an incredible £18 million to help fund Cancer Research UK’s life saving work
  • Participants are encouraged to illuminate themselves using lights, glow sticks and sparkling clothing
  • 17,000 people from across the country took part in last year’s Shine Night Walk
  • ScottishPower partnered with Cancer Research UK in 2012 with the aim of raising £5 million over three years. This target was achieved in October 2014, six months ahead of schedule. The energy provider recently renewed the partnership for a further 3 years
  • To date ScottishPower has raised over £8 million for Cancer Research UK. This has been achieved through a raft of initiatives including sales of a bespoke ‘Help Beat Cancer’ energy tariff, sponsorship of events like Race for Life and Stand Up To Cancer,  and employee fundraising

About ScottishPower

  • ScottishPower is part of the Iberdrola Group, one of the largest energy companies in Europe, and the world leader in operating wind energy. Iberdrola’s main operating areas are Spain, the UK, US, Mexico and Brazil
  • In the UK, as well as being a major retail energy supplier, ScottishPower manages the electricity network which supports millions of homes and businesses and is one of the largest producers of renewable electricity
  • The company now manages more than 5.6 million retail customer accounts
  • SP Energy Networks look after more than 100,000 km of power lines and over 30,000 substations, delivering electricity to more than 3.5 million homes and businesses in Scotland, the North West of England and North Wales. ScottishPower Renewables is one of the leading developers of green electricity, with more than 25 operational windfarms and a healthy pipeline of onshore, offshore, wave and tidal renewable energy projects in development

About Cancer Research UK

  • Cancer Research UK is the world’s leading cancer charity dedicated to saving lives through research
  • Cancer Research UK’s pioneering work into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer has helped save millions of lives
  • Cancer Research UK receives no government funding for its life-saving research. Every step it makes towards beating cancer relies on every pound donated
  • Cancer Research UK has been at the heart of the progress that has already seen survival in the UK double in the last forty years
  • Today, 2 in 4 people survive cancer. Cancer Research UK’s ambition is to accelerate progress so that 3 in 4 people will survive cancer within the next 20 years
  • Cancer Research UK supports research into all aspects of cancer through the work of over 4,000 scientists, doctors and nurses
  • Together with its partners and supporters, Cancer Research UK's vision is to bring forward the day when all cancers are cured
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