When cancer strikes, it’s pretty rubbish, and your life can become absorbed by medical appointments, a fear of the future – often combined with a desire to cram in as many experiences as possible as life feels more precious and there ‘to be lived’. Many charities help with all kinds of aspects of cancer, but, along with the Willow Foundation (for 40 & under), and The Honey Rose Foundation, Ellie’s Friends is one that I’ve been privileged to win a couple of things from – including some hats from Annabandana, most of which found their way back to Maggie’s in Manchester (Maggie’s and Ellie’s Friends are now part of the same charity). Here’s why they exist:
Anyway, their prizes are all over the country, so pick carefully – but one that intrigued me in Manchester, was Urban Axe Throwing – and I was duly informed that I was the first winner of this prize, so they wanted to know if it turned out to be a good prize! I received 2 sets of tickets for 2 people … and I still have one set left (ticket holder already assigned, sorry if you want to go, but you could always join us once we book!!!).
After popping into a Chinese buffet, we headed to the venue (in with the Odeon cinema on Deansgate) – via a handful of #BeeInTheCity:
We had to ‘sign our lives away’ on an iPad disclaimer form, given the opportunity to buy some (non-alcoholic) drinks or snacks before starting, could play some games or darts, or just generally look around! A note that flat shoes are recommended, and open-toed shoes are not permitted (although a really fetching pair of Crocs was provided for the one person who had these). You’ll be joining in with whoever else has signed up – in our case 13 people all from the same company – and the 2 of us!
The team was good, getting the atmosphere going. We had 3 attempts at single throwing – much of which I looked like this as my axe bounced back off the board towards me:
The tips were good – e.g. ‘good stance’, ‘try gripping this way’, ‘try counting before letting go’, and how to get around surgery arm, etc. I still hadn’t embedded the axe into anywhere but the edge of the board by the time we went into ‘competition’ mode – in which we played in pairs (we had 2 lanes open), and the higher scores would play off against each other until there was a full on winner. We then had the opportunity to try throwing 2 axes, our instructors showed a couple of ‘trick throws’, then took photos and wished us a good evening. I think 2 people from the evening got their name on the ‘wall of fame’ (for those with scores over 50) – that most definitely didn’t include me!
So, overall, fun experience – I always like trying new things. I’m looking forward to going back and having another go (and if you really like it, you can join a league!!). And there’s a 10% code available for others too: iamawhistlepunk
Dr Bex Lewis is passionate about helping people engage with the digital world in a positive way, where she has more than 20 years’ experience. She is Senior Lecturer in Digital Marketing at Manchester Metropolitan University and Visiting Research Fellow at St John’s College, Durham University, with a particular interest in digital culture, persuasion and attitudinal change, especially how this affects the third sector, including faith organisations, and, after her breast cancer diagnosis in 2017, has started to research social media and cancer. Trained as a mass communications historian, she has written the original history of the poster Keep Calm and Carry On: The Truth Behind the Poster (Imperial War Museum, 2017), drawing upon her PhD research. She is Director of social media consultancy Digital Fingerprint, and author of Raising Children in a Digital Age: Enjoying the Best, Avoiding the Worst (Lion Hudson, 2014) as well as a number of book chapters, and regularly judges digital awards. She has a strong media presence, with her expertise featured in a wide range of publications and programmes, including national, international and specialist TV, radio and press, and can be found all over social media, typically as @drbexl.