Sunrise radio launches a marathon fundraising effort for CRY

On March 26-27, presenter Anushka Arora will broadcast live for 36-hours in a determined bid to raise funds and awareness of Cardiac Risk in the Young across the British Asian community

Award-winning Sunrise Radio, (the globally acclaimed, commercial station focusing on Asian entertainment, music, human interest and news) will be shining a light on the work of the charity, Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY) at the end of this month, with the launch of a unique broadcasting marathon.

Sunrise Radio forged a year-long partnership with CRY at the start of 2020 as part of the charity’s 25th anniversary with a vision of raising awareness via advertising, community messaging and interviews with CRY’s experts and families who have been affected by young sudden cardiac death.

However, due to the unforeseen impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on charities across the UK, Sunrise generously pledged to extend the collaboration to ensure the ongoing roll-out of CRY’s important messages and to help support its vital work.

The 36-hour broadcasting marathon will be hosted by the award-winning presenter of Sunrise’s flagship daily afternoon show, Anushka Arora, and will feature music, ‘shout outs’, live interviews (with doctors, young people whose lives have been saved by screening as well as those who have suffered a bereavement) and regular reminders of why it is so important to support CRY and help to raise funds for its ongoing mission in preventing sudden cardiac death in young people.

The CRY / Sunrise partnership will reach new heights on the 26th and 27th March with the launch of the on-air “radio-a-thon”, running from 9am on Friday to 9pm, Saturday. With Anushka at the helm for the duration of the challenge, she’ll also be joined by guests (in a COVID-secure way) including the international singer-songwriter Arjun.

Arjun is also an Ambassador of CRY. He started to support the charity following the sudden death of his wife, Natasha, who tragically died from a previously undiagnosed heart condition in September 2018, aged just 30. In February 2020, just prior to the first national lockdown, Arjun organised a huge concert at the Hammersmith Apollo (starring Guru Randhawa, Mickey Singh, Jaz Dhami, Vidy Vox, amongst many others) which raised almost £40,000 for CRY.

The “36-hour” fundraising and awareness initiative is the brainchild of the MD of Sunrise Radio, Tony Lit MBE, who is also an official Ambassador for CRY. Tony – a highly respected figure in the media industry and a well-known campaigner for communities and social justice – first approached CRY following the sudden death of the only son of a family friend from a previously undiagnosed heart condition. He was aged just 17 and was a fit and sporty young man, with his death sending shockwaves throughout his local community and beyond.  As a father of 3, Tony was deeply moved by this tragedy and pledged, “whatever support Sunrise Radio and I can give personally, over and above, I shall do so.”

Tony Lit MBE

Tony comments; “The responsibility of running an iconic radio service like Sunrise Radio goes far beyond selling commercials and programming airtime for me and my team.  Sunrise is now in its 32nd year of broadcasting to the South Asian community and over the years it has become much more than a source for entertainment but is also relied upon for important community messages, news and information. It’s absolutely vital that we do our bit in society and support charitable organisations like CRY. There can be nothing worse than losing a young life needlessly in our country in this day and age. That’s why awareness campaigns like this are so important as we work together with CRY to save young lives and invoke real change in communities across the UK.

Dr Steven Cox

Dr Steven Cox, CRY’s Chief Executive, adds, “We are thrilled to be continuing our partnership with Tony and the team at Sunrise Radio on this unique media collaboration – and are particularly excited by the prospect of this phenomenal broadcasting marathon.

“It’s important to remember that young sudden cardiac death is indiscriminate – it takes young people, at the prime of their lives from every community and ethnic background across the UK. It is our duty to ensure we have a strong voice in the British Asian community and to spread our messages widely about the importance of cardiac screening, research and bereavement support.  

“Tony’s generosity – and Anushka’s incredible energy and commitment to the initiative – is allowing us to do just this and we are all extremely grateful for the ongoing support of the entire Sunrise family.”