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Go Sober for October

26th September 2014
Posted by Simon Turp

October 1 signals the beginning of 31 days of abstinence for those who have signed up to become Sober Heroes for the charity Macmillan Cancer Support. It may be that these teetotal champions had their detox training back at the beginning of the year with Alcohol Concern’s call for a Dry January. Cancer Research UK also held their Dryathlon that same month. It seems that encouraging people to give up alcohol has become an effective way for charities to raise awareness and help generate support for their vital services.

Macmillan has an incredible presence across the UK and this includes the Basildon area. Basildon Hospital has its own Information and Support Service which is operated by trained staff from Macmillan Counselling Support. The Macmillan Welfare Benefits Service also arranges meetings with cancer sufferers needing advice about work, housing and money issues. Last year, Macmillan was able to provide 355 nurses to people living with cancer across the South East region.

We can already thank Macmillan for the delicious cake and coffee stands that have been cropping up over the county throughout September. The Macmillan ‘Coffee Morning’ campaign – which asks people to hold their own fundraising bake sales – managed to raise over £20 million last year. Believe me, cake manages to taste even better when it is helping to improve the lives of thousands of people who are affected by cancer each year .

So after a month of indulging in cream cheese frosting and chocolate caramel traybakes, maybe a month of alcohol-abstinence doesn’t sound like such a bad idea!? There is one overarching theme to the Macmillan campaigns which I have identified, and that is kitchen creativity! Whilst coffee mornings require aprons, cake-mixers and vast quantities of sugar, the Sober October campaign calls for cocktail shakers , mini-umbrellas and a fridge full of ice.

Becoming a Sober Hero doesn’t mean 31 days of ordering water and a slice of lemon. Here are three of my favourite ‘mocktail’ recipes to show you that October can be just as tasty as jam-filled, sugar-dusted September:

Pomegranate mojito mocktail:
Mango Fizz:
Sparkling Pom Collins:

If you are interested in signing up for the Sober October campaign, or making a donation, visit: