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Liverpool’s Mod enthusiasts raise £1M for Teenage Cancer Trust

3 weeks ago

Liverpool’s Mod enthusiasts raise £1M for Teenage Cancer Trust
March of the Mods at the Cavern Club raising money for Teenage Cancer Trust. Credit: Marvin Henrius

A group of Mod enthusiasts known as “March of the Mods” have successfully raised £1 million for the Teenage Cancer Trust after hosting approximately 370 music gigs across the UK.

The initiative, spearheaded by Eddie Penny, a Liverpool bus driver and ardent supporter of the Teenage Cancer Trust, has been a significant fundraising effort for the past 12 years.

The March of the Mods events feature mod-inspired music gigs held nationwide in March, complete with live music, DJs, mod fashion, and even Mod ride-outs.

Eddie, who previously organised mod-related events in Liverpool such as The Liverpool Mod Weekender at The Cavern Club and Project 11, drew inspiration for March of the Mods from these ventures.

Prior to finding March of the Mods, Eddie  set up mod-related events around Liverpool, including The Liverpool Mod Weekender at The Cavern Club, and Project 11.

The idea for March of the Mods came from Project 11 which saw 11 bands playing for 11 hours, for 11 different charities on 11/11/2011, with an £11 entry fee.

“After Project 11 my thoughts turned to linking a Project 11 style event with other towns and cities and then whilst I was driving my bus on a late shift it came to me how to do this,” Eddie said.

Eddie Penny second from left at the first March of the Mods gig
Eddie Penny second from left at the first March of the Mods gig

“I had always been aware of the Joe Loss song March of the Mods –  I have never liked it if I am honest, but I always thought that it had a pretty cool title, my light bulb moment came when I thought, what if March was the actual month of March and you linked and staged  mod events all around the country for that whole month.

“The elements of Project 11 made up the missing pieces –  live mod inspired bands raising money for charity over a month instead of a day, and this is how March of the Mods was born.”

To recognise the incredible achievement of raising £1 million pounds, Teenage Cancer Trust met with representatives from March of the Mods, at the Cavern Club in Liverpool – the city where it all started.  

During the meeting, the group paid tribute to Jack Lawler who presented a cheque to March of the Mods after their very first fundraising gig which raised a total of £50,000 thanks to the total being match funded by Barclays Bank.

Teenage Cancer Trust funds specialist hospital units, nurses, and youth workers across the UK. They’ve built a network of 28 age-appropriate hospital wards and funded a dedicated team of over 100 nurses and youth support coordinators, who are experts in meeting the unique and complex needs of 13-24 year-olds with cancer.

Teenage Cancer Trust is the only UK charity dedicated to meeting this vital need – so no young person faces cancer alone.

Eddie Penny, founder of the March of the Mods said:

“March of the Mods started out as a group and it’s that group mentality that has brought us to where we are today. None of this would have been possible without the time and effort that people have dedicated to being part of March of the Mods.”

Emma Cross, Senior Relationship Manager for the North West and Cumbria at Teenage Cancer Trust said:

“It’s been incredible to see the dedication and loyalty of March of the Mods over the years. It involves so many people giving their time – the organisers,  bands, DJ’s, venues and all the volunteers that help. We had expected the group to hit their million-pound target in 2025, and it was such a wonderful surprise to all of us to receive the added donation which has enabled them to achieve their dream a year early.”

March of the Mods 2024
March of the Mods 2024

The group reached their fundraising target this year after a series of successful gigs, and thanks to a significant donation from Euan and Alison Sellar who were inspired by the organisers of the Aberdeen March of the Mods.

Emma added:  The support from March of the Mods is enabling Teenage Cancer Trust to provide specialist care for young people with cancer, so they don’t feel isolated, alone, and have the emotional and practical support that they need to get them through.

“We cannot thank March of the Mods enough, and we are so proud of their achievement.”

As well as fundraising for Teenage Cancer Trust, some March of the Mods events also raise money for local charities.

Each year, around 33 March of the Mods gigs are held across the country.

March of the Mods will continue next year and will see gigs take place from next March in major cities and towns across the UK and Ireland. For more information click here.

For more on the Teenage Cancer Trust click here.

For the latest news in Liverpool click here.

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