Organisers hope to raise £80,000 at Relay for Life event

Relay for Life Jarrow committee member Coun Adam Ellison and chairman Ann Walsh are gearing up for the event at Monkton Stadium.
Relay for Life Jarrow committee member Coun Adam Ellison and chairman Ann Walsh are gearing up for the event at Monkton Stadium.

Charity champions are set to pick up the baton in the fight against cancer when a 22-hour fundraiser returns to South Tyneside this weekend.

The Relay for Life will take place at Monkton Stadium, in Jarrow, on Saturday and Sunday.

Walkers set off in last year's Race for Life event.

Walkers set off in last year's Race for Life event.

Those taking part in the 22-hour relay will raise money for Cancer Research UK.

Organisers are hoping to raise at least £80,000 from the event, and have already collected more than £63,000 online.

It has helped to raise £600,000 since it started 12 years ago.

Registrations for taking part in this year’s event have closed, but spectators are encouraged to support those involved by cheering them on, visiting the stalls and enjoying the music and entertainment on offer.

It is always an incredibly moving and inspirational event

Coun Ken Stephenson

It’s free all day for visitors to attend.

The Mayor of South Tyneside, Coun Ken Stephenson, said: “The Relay for Life is a really special event.

“It not only raises money for a really worthwhile cause, but brings hundreds of people together who have shared similar experiences, to celebrate life and remember those lost to cancer.

“It is always an incredibly moving and inspirational event combining a message of hope for the future with an excellent day of music, games and entertainment.”

Team members take turns to run or walk around the track during the event, with at least one member on the track at all times.

It begins at 11am on Saturday with an opening ceremony and survivors’ lap of honour, which sees cancer survivors walk the first lap.

Another highlight is the candle of hope ceremony at 10pm, when hundreds of tea light candles are placed around the track, lighting the way through the night.

The final lap at 9am on Sunday is followed by a closing ceremony, before everyone comes together for a final lap to celebrate their achievements.

Relay for Life Jarrow committee chairman Ann Walsh said: “The Relay for Life has a real celebratory feel to it as we reflect to remember the steps we have made against cancer while recognising the challenge that still lies ahead. This year we are expecting more than 500 participants across 45 teams. We also have 56 cancer survivors signed up for the opening lap of honour.

“It involves so many people, whether they take part, come along and support on the day or contribute in anyway. Everyone who does attend always takes away something special.”