Divers dropped into shark infested waters for a spot of Sunday Brunch and to support Stand Up To Cancer.

Shane Breadmore (26) and Leo Coucher (25) took a break from their cleaning duties in the 250,000-litre tropical ocean display at Sea Life Great Yarmouth to enjoy an underwater brunch and raise funds and awareness for cancer research.

Cancer Research UK is urging people across the East of England to bite back at cancer by putting Sunday brunch on the menu this autumn and serve up a fundraising feast

Surrounded by black tip sharks, conger eels and Noah, an inquisitive Green Sea Turtle, Shane and Leo decided to do their bit for Stand Up to Cancer by holding a very unusual Sunday brunch, 20-foot underwater with a vast array of curious marine friends as company.

The daring divers are calling on people across the region to join them and cook up some cash with a special Sunday Brunch for Stand Up To Cancer. They are urging foodies and fundraisers alike to create a restaurant-style experience at home by hosting a brunch bonanza for their household – with family or housemates donating the bill to life-saving research.

Stand Up To Cancer is a joint fundraising campaign from Cancer Research UK and Channel 4 which aims to get new cancer tests and treatments to people who need them the most.

Shane and Leo, strapped on their Oxygen tanks and spent 20 minutes on the bottom of the aquarium floor with their unusual brunch guests including naughty Noah, who was desperate to get in on the action and join the two divers for brunch.

Shane, who has been working as a diver for the past five years, said: “Having Sunday brunch just a few feet away from sharks, eels and turtles might not be everyone’s cup of tea but we clean the aquarium every week so we are used to getting up close to the marine life. Noah is a real character and always wants to get involved. I just hope we can help raise awareness and get people involved by inspiring them to hold their own fundraising Sunday brunch event. It certainly the most unusual place I have ever sat down for a bit of brunch.

Leo added: “It was great to get involved and help raise awareness and funds for Cancer Research UK. Everyone is touched by cancer sometime in their life, be it a loved one, friend or family member and we all need to do our bit to fight this dreadful disease. So please do get behind this very important fundraising campaign and the next time you sit down for Sunday brunch please donate the bill to a good cause and help raise money for Cancer Research UK so they can continue with their life-saving work.

Shane and Leo have put Sunday brunch for Stand Up To Cancer firmly on the menu and will continue to raise money throughout the half term holidays with collection boxes.

Patrick Keely, Cancer Research UK spokesperson, said: “We’re grateful to Shane and Leo for helping us to continue our mission. Cancer doesn’t stop in the face of a pandemic. It can affect anyone’s life, at any time so we only have one option: accelerate life-saving research. Around 35,000 people are diagnosed with cancer every year in the East of England*. It can affect anyone’s life, at any time so we only have one option: accelerate life-saving research

“We are not expecting everyone to have Sunday brunch 20 foot underwater with sharks and turtles but thanks to the extra time spent at home lately, many of us now know our way around the kitchen much better than before. So why not put these new-found culinary skills to use while inspiring guests to dish up the dosh for a great cause

“Cooking a special Sunday brunch for your household is a safe and simple way to show support during these challenging times. By taking part, you’ll be rewarded with more than just empty plates. The donations your family or housemates make in support of your efforts really could save lives.”

Supported by Channel 4 show Sunday Brunch, an array of celebrity chefs – including co-host Simon Rimmer – have donated recipes. From Davina McCall’s kedgeree, to Jamie Oliver’s super spinach pancakes and Asma Khan’s courgette sabzi – there’s something to suit everyone’s taste buds. Or participants can simply choose to conjure up their own culinary creations.

For added inspiration, during October four special episodes of Sunday Brunch will be shown on Channel 4 showcasing some of the delicious Stand Up To Cancer recipes. Co-hosts Tim Lovejoy and Simon Rimmer know first-hand the devastation a cancer diagnosis can bring and how important new discoveries are to help more people survive.

Chef Simon, who has donated his recipe for blueberry and cottage cheese pancakes, said: “I remember vividly the moment that I was told my dad had cancer. I was only nine years old and it hit me like a ton of bricks. He’s the strongest man I know and thankfully he’s still here with us today. Stand Up To Cancer is such an important cause, funding research to help people just like my lovely dad.

“So I’m thrilled that Sunday Brunch is teaming up with Stand Up To Cancer this year. We’re asking everyone in the region to hold their own special brunch with their household or bubble – the more the merrier if they’re dialling in over video! I’ll definitely be facetiming my good old dad over a cuppa.”

Co-presenter Tim Lovejoy added: “I didn’t think cancer was something that would affect my life or my family; I just didn’t really think about it much at all. Then my brother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer at the age of 37. It was such a shock. And when James died, I almost couldn’t believe it.

“But one in two people in the UK are diagnosed with cancer**. So really, it affects all of us. That’s why I’m asking people across the country to join me and Stand Up To Cancer this October.”

Get a free fundraising kit at su2c.org.uk/brunch. A Sunday Brunch mug is also available from Stand Up To Cancer’s online shop.

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