Relay For Life organisers ‘amazed’ at worldwide response to scarf appeal

There has been an especially strong response in Tesco stores to the appeal. Centre: Ann Walsh.
There has been an especially strong response in Tesco stores to the appeal. Centre: Ann Walsh.
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There will a worldwide presence at next month’s Relay For Life in Jarrow after people from across the globe got knitting for the cause.

The 22-hour event will take place at Monkton Stadium, in Dene Terrace, starting on July 11, with money raised going to Cancer Research UK.

Cancer Research UK's Relay for Life at Monkton Stadium, Jarrow

Cancer Research UK's Relay for Life at Monkton Stadium, Jarrow

Race organisers called for people to send in their scarves to be joined around the track for the relay, and there have already been almost 1,000 sent in – enough for about two full laps.

There has been a particularly strong response from Tesco supermarket stores, with the branch at Simonside, in Towers Place, one of a number of stores which has had workers knitting.

Helen Frame, who works for the supermarket chain, is on the Relay For Life committee and is a cancer survivor herself, and has collected 630 scarves from customers, family and friends.

The scarves are one metre long and four inches wide, and at the event they will be sold to raise money for Cancer Research. Unsold scarves will go to the Shoebox Appeal.

The response has been amazing, and we’ve had scarved submitted from all over the place

Ann Walsh, event chairwoman

Ann Walsh, event chairwoman, said: “The response has been amazing, and we’ve had scarves submitted from all over the place, including Manchester, New Zealand, Dumfries and Canada.

“It’s unbelievable, and really does seem to have spread everywhere. We needed to get 400 to go around the track once, and I thought we would struggle to get that many.

“It seems to have captured everyone’s imagination, and has involved a wide range of community groups.

“It’s going to look spectacular, and will be something really different. We’re going to try to hold them all and do a conga lap with them, so they can do a lap of the track.

Cancer survivor Charlie Mordey, pictured with event organiser Ann Walsh, will again cut the starting ribbon this year.

Cancer survivor Charlie Mordey, pictured with event organiser Ann Walsh, will again cut the starting ribbon this year.

“People have been asked to knit in the colour of cancer they are most passionate about – for example, pink for breast cancer – and survivors will be given purple scarves.

“Two charities are going to benefit from it, and I’m over the moon with the response.”

Relay for Life will start at 10am with a survivors’ lap of honour, with cancer survivors walking the first lap of the course. After that, teams of eight to 15 people will walk around the track for the duration of the event.

The team members will take it in turns to walk around the track in the relay, which is into its ninth year and has raised more than £250,000 since starting.

Cancer Research UK's Relay for Life at Monkton Stadium, Jarrow

Cancer Research UK's Relay for Life at Monkton Stadium, Jarrow

Scarves can be donated on the day, or in advance by calling 079 4635 1423 or sending an email to annwalsh11@aol.com

Relay for Life 2010 at Monkton Stadium.

Relay for Life 2010 at Monkton Stadium.

Cancer Research UK's Relay for Life at Monkton Stadium, Jarrow - survivor Charlie Mordey

Cancer Research UK's Relay for Life at Monkton Stadium, Jarrow - survivor Charlie Mordey