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A guest blog from ICE member Simon Collins of Paperclip PR!



November is a month of many things. Aside from the gunpowder, treason and plot, the month is also associated with the proud displaying of facial hair. I’m talking of course about the Movember campaign.

Testicular cancer affects around 2,300 men a year in the UK, which whilst not one of the most prevalent cancers, often goes undiagnosed due to the fact men are less likely to get themselves checked out. This is getting better thanks to initiatives like Movember, but at ICE, we wanted to do something different.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all for a styled ‘tash’, particularly if it can be described as ‘buccaneering’, but it’s something that is a bit individual.

At ICE, we were looking for something that could be done as a group, to help fundraise for testicular cancer. What is something that would engage the community enough, that it could get people to donate, but also has some tedious link to testicular cancer? The answer was staring me in the face… balls.

On many occasion, Mr McGowan has asked the Welsh ICE members Facebook group ‘what would you do if we had ten million pounds?’. Aside from the realistic and supportive (ie boring) answers like startup funding, sports facilities and software development, there is always one answer that inspires a 12-comment long thread of gifs – a giant ball pit.

So, along with Jamie and Rachel, we devised how the ballistic ball pit could feasibly work in the coworking setting. After we decided that hollowing out half the Colab and filling it with balls, might be counterproductive for the other 11 months of the year, we settled on filling a paddling pool with them.



We also had another reason to fundraise, and that is the powerful story of cancer survivor and Welsh ICE member, Adrian Kent from Inspire Challenge.

In 2003 whilst serving in the armed forces, Adrian was diagnosed with testicular cancer. During treatment, doctors found that the cancer had spread to his stomach and lungs, and he needed surgery and chemotherapy.

Thanks to his outstanding level of physical fitness, the treatment worked and Adrian is now cancer-free. However, not content with merely beating cancer, Adrian decided he needed to help others fight the disease, and so set himself a challenge.


Adrian said:

“Cancer touches everyone at some point in their lives, whether it is as an individual, or through family and friends, the disease affects everyone in some way. So after winning my own personal battle, I decided I wanted to do something that would help fund the vital research that goes into beating cancer. So, having served in the armed forces, with a number of those years as an Army Commando, I wanted to do something that would challenge myself, but also, hopefully, inspire others to donate in support.”

The challenge:

Adrian decided that rather than run a marathon or two, he would run 100k… but not once, seven times… and not on a plush running track or a comfortable path…in some of the worlds most inhospitable terrains and environments. Seven continents – 700km.

– Africa – Ultra Drakensberg – COMPLETED

– North America – Wonderland Trail, Mount Rainier – COMPLETED

– Europe – The Wall Ultra, UK – COMPLETED

– Asia – Nepal – COMPLETED

– Australia – Greater Blue Mountains, 6ft track – COMPLETED

– South America – Manu National Park

– Antarctica

Having already run 100km in Africa, North America, Europe, Asia and Australia, Adrian has only South America, and nature’s comfort zone (if you are a penguin) – Antarctica, to go.

All of a sudden getting a ballpit and filling it with coloured balls didn’t seem like a huge effort compared to running 100k in the desert, mountains and snow!



None the less, we are now putting it out to you, the wonderful ICE community. We’ve got the ball pit, now we just need balls!

It’s as simple as this; donate to our fundraiser, and we will fill the pit with balls! You can even write your own name or message on the balls, to forever (or until the end of November) immortalise yourself in our shared pool of puns.

£1 = 2 balls
£5 = 10 balls
£10 = 20 balls
£50 = 100 balls

The ball pit will be in the Colab throughout November, so get your donation in and come deep dive into our trench of adolescent humour – or as it is factually known, coloured plastic ball heaven.

You can donate through the link below, and then head to reception to get your balls handed to you!