Charity champ to get royal approval at Jarrow Relay for Life

Ann Walsh will receive her  BEM at the Relay for Life event next weekend.

Ann Walsh will receive her BEM at the Relay for Life event next weekend.

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A South Tyneside charity champion is set for the royal seal of approval - as she celebrates a decade of dedication to the fight against cancer.

Ann Walsh is being honoured with the prestigious British Empire medal for her fantastic fundraising work for Cancer Research UK by organising the annual Relay for Life extravaganza in Jarrow.

Relay for Life 2015 at Monkton Stadium, Jarrow on Saturday.

Relay for Life 2015 at Monkton Stadium, Jarrow on Saturday.

The hard-working campaigner couldn’t think of a better time and place to receive her accolade - at the opening ceremony of this year’s event at Monkton Stadium in Jarrow on Saturday, July 16.

The 22-hour event sees cancer survivors and charity fundraisers team up to walk continuous loops of the track at Monkton Stadium, in Dene Terrace.

Mrs Walsh will pick up the medal from the Lord Lieutenant of Tyne and Wear before setting her sights on making it a perfect ten years of charitable success.

The ambitious organiser has already raised a superb £51,000 for this year’s event before getting to the start line with hopes high over doubling the running total.

This is our 10th year so it is a special year for us.

Ann Walsh

The event has already brought in an impressive haul of £400,000 since its launch.

Mrs Walsh said: “This is our 10th year so it is a special year for us.

“We have £51,000 raised so far online and are hoping for £100,000, this will take us to half a million raised in our in 10 years.”

This year’s Relay for Life is set to see a bumper turn-out of cancer survivors and supporters stepping out for the cause.

Mrs Walsh said: “Over 650 people have registered to take turns to walk the track for 22 hours and we have 63 teams, with over 60 survivors to start us off, including two 7-year-old boys and one 12 year old girl.”

Charity helpers have hit a purple patch to show their support for the big weekend.

This year, Mrs Walsh has asked people to play their part in helping to knit a 1 metre long purple scarf to line one lap of the track.

Mrs Walsh added: “People from all over the country have been knitting. We have scarves from library groups , knit and natter groups, Tesco Stores as well as all our fundraisers and their families and friends. We even have scarves from Guernsey and Pittsburgh.”

The Relay for Life gets under way at 10am on Saturday, July 16.

For details on how to take part, visit http://relay.cancerresearchuk.org and search for the Jarrow event in the find your relay section of the home page.