South Shields Cancer Research fundraisers lace up for Race for Life at Home

A group of South Shields charity champions are continuing to raise thousands despite the pandemic.

By Sarah Sinclair
Wednesday, 8th July 2020, 4:45 pm

The Lavender Lasses – a group of seven friends who have raised over £30,000 for Cancer Research UK – have vowed to carry on the fight against the disease despite the social distancing restrictions.

Well known for their can-can skirts and feather boas, Hilary Jago, Janet Bruce, Susan O’Brien, Alex Watson, Joanne Dix, Billie-Jean Morris and Judith Copeland, took part in the annual Race for Life, but from home.

The Sunderland Race for Life, which was due to take place on Sunday, May 31 was among 400 Race for Life events cancelled across the UK due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Fundraisers took part in a 10k walk along The Leas for Cancer Research UK.

But instead, people across the country have completed a Race for Life challenge at home, in their garden or nearest green space.

The Lavender Lasses took part in a socially-distanced 10k walk on Saturday, June 20 with 16 friends and family members, from The Amphitheatre on Sandhaven Beach to Souter Lighthouse and back – raising more than £1,500 for the charity so far.

Lavender Lass, Hilary Jago said: “With all our fundraising so far this year being cancelled we wanted to organise something we could do while observing the social distancing measures and without needing people to attend an event.

“We had glorious sunshine and it was a perfect day to take in the sea views. Many of us wore our Cancer Research UK T-shirts that we’ve had from previous events, and we all had a great day.”

The Lavender Lasses, Hilary Jago, Janet Bruce, Susan O’Brien, Alex Watson, Joanne Dix, Billie-Jean Morris and Judith Copeland.

In 2013 member Janet Bruce was diagnosed and had treatment for breast cancer, including the drug tamoxifen, which Cancer Research UK experts were involved in the development of.

Hilary added: “Several of our group have had family members diagnosed with various cancers, some who didn’t survive. Because of this we’ve spent our time fundraising for Cancer Research UK’s vital research in the North East and we know what a difference research can make.”

Cancer Research UK expects to see its fundraising income decline by up to 25 per cent in the next financial year as a direct result of the pandemic.Lisa Millett, Cancer Research UK’s spokesperson for the North East, said: “We remain tirelessly committed to making progress for people affected by cancer but now more than ever, support from the public will be vital. We simply will not be able to continue funding our life-saving work without it.

“Since it began in 1994, Race for Life has raised over £890m for Cancer Research UK’s life-saving work. We’re incredibly grateful to everyone who has taken part and hope their support will continue.

Hilary Jago takes part in the Race for Life 10k in June.

“We hope the Race for Life event series will be back bigger and stronger than ever in 2021. In the meantime, we’d love to invite as many people to join us by taking part in Race for Life at Home in these challenging times.”

Visit raceforlife.org and sign up free for ideas on how to create your own Race for Life at Home challenge.

Join in and share with #RaceForLifeAtHome

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Katy and Hilary Jago take part in the Race for Life at Home.

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Janet Bruce beat breast cancer after being diagnosed in 2013.

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