International honour for Jarrow Relay for Life event

Two charity champions from South Tyneside will be flying the flag for the borough at a global conference.
Last year's Relay for Life at Monkton Stadium, Jarrow.Last year's Relay for Life at Monkton Stadium, Jarrow.
Last year's Relay for Life at Monkton Stadium, Jarrow.

Ann Walsh, organiser of the borough’s annual Relay For Life – which raises money for Cancer Research UK – and the charity’s relationship manager Nicky McKenna, have been invited to The Global Relay For Life Forum at Lisbon this month.

The Relay for life, held at Jarrow’s Monkton Stadium for the last 15 years, has raised £860,000 for Cancer Research UK, and Ann says she expects the fundraising to reach the million pounds mark in the next few years.

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The Forum brings together representatives from 29 countries which hold Relay For Life events.

Ann, 64, said the invitation to the two-day forum had come as a surprise.

She added: “It’s fantastic for Jarrow. For us to represent the UK and for our relay group to be acknowledged in this way is a huge honour.”

Ann and Nicky have been invited because of Jarrow’s success in fundraising, the length of time the event has been running and the number of participants. With 28 teams already signed up for July’s event, it is one of the largest in the country.

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Ann, who lives at East Boldon and Nicky, 40, from north Durham, will be representing the UK, along with a member from the Legenderry Relay For Life in Northern Ireland and two Cancer Research UK colleagues.

Nicky said: “We’re absolutely honoured to have been selected to represent Relay For Life for the UK and incredibly proud to share the work of Relay For Life Jarrow with our peers from around the world.

“It’s an exciting opportunity to talk about Jarrow’s 15 years of experience with other dedicated Relayers and gain a greater understanding of how to beat cancer together.”

This year’s event in Jarrow takes place on Saturday, July 15.

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Team members will take it in turns to walk around a track at Monkton Stadium for 22 hours.

A Candle of Hope ceremony will also be held to honour every life touched by cancer.

To enter this year’s event, search online for Jarrow Relay for Life.