Yate Relay For Life raises more than £44,000 to fight cancer
HUNDREDS of people took part - and the Yate Relay for Life has already raised more than £44,000 for research into cancer.
The 24-hour charity event at Yate Outdoor Sports Complex at the weekend was the 14th held in the town and was one of more than 5,000 being staged around the world.
More than 500 fundraisers camped overnight as team members took it in turns to walk around the track, many in fancy dress.
The relay opened with a parade from 2509 Air Training Corps leading cancer survivors, some of whom were still undergoing treatment, who were invited as guests of honour to walk the opening lap.
Team members then took turns to walk the track over the 24 hours to raise sponsorship donations. Organisers say that already £44,000 has been collected so far for charity Cancer Research UK.
The final total will not be known for a few months, after all the donations are collected, but the event’s fundraising committee has set a target of £80,000, to add to the £500,000-plus raised by previous relays.
Sari Vanska, above, who organised the Guest of Honour celebrations, said: “It's my first time helping organise this event and what has really struck me is how the community has come together, with local businesses giving up their time to help set up the event, bake cakes, decorate our marquee and not forgetting the bands that came along to entertain everyone: it's really quite incredible.”
The event also included a 'Candle of Hope' ceremony, poetry and a two-minute silence for those who had lost loved ones or been affected by the disease.
Kelvin Bullock walked the equivalent of three marathons in the 24 hours.
He said: “I took part in Relay For Life because I have family that have been affected by cancer and wanted to help: some of them are no longer with us. I wasn't aiming for the triple marathon distance, as I'm only just back from a nasty broken leg, but I wanted to see how far I could go. I felt absolutely shattered but really enjoyed it. Together we are turning our back on cancer.”
Lisa Nelson, above with her fundraising team, who is currently undergoing treatment for breast cancer, said: “We have raised over £2,500 so far, it's a really special event, it's so well organised, the atmosphere is great, Everybody should give it a go and see what it's all about. We're all here because we want to beat cancer.”
Among the teams taking part was one from Avon Fire and Rescue, who also had a ‘friendly’ tug of war with 1st Yate Scouts.
Support for the event came from main sponsors Barratt and David Wilson homes, and Brandwells Construction, schools, the U3A, DJ Dom Walker, who provided music for the whole 24 hours, local bands and choirs.
Donations can still be made at Yaterelayforlife.org.uk.