Two Newcastle schoolgirls are joining a team of cancer researchers to call on kids and adults to get muddy for Cancer Research UK.

Percy Stanway, aged 5 from Whitley Bay and Cara Ricci, aged 5 from Newcastle are joining forces with the team of top scientists to launch the charity’s Race for Life Pretty Muddy Kids and Pretty Muddy events, with a muddy high five.

Pretty Muddy Kids is designed specifically for children. The event will return to the Town Moor, near Exhibition Park, Newcastle on Saturday 13 July. Pretty Muddy Kids will return to Riverside Park, Chester-le-Street on Saturday 14 September.

Pretty Muddy Kids is an exciting obstacle course, where boys and girls wriggle through scramble nets, bounce on space hoppers and crawl through a mud pit – to help raise money for life-saving research.

The traditional Race for Life 5k, 10k and Pretty Muddy events will also take place at the same venue over the weekend, Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 July in Newcastle and the Pretty Muddy events in Chester-le-Street take place on Saturday 14 September. This year, for the first time, they are open to male as well as female participants.

Percy’s mum Harriet Stanway, 28, a PhD student at the Cancer Research UK Newcastle Centre said: “Percy is so excited about taking part in the Pretty Muddy Kids event and having an excuse to get covered in mud from head to toe.”

Cara’s mum Jen Ricci, 37, a Research Associate at the centre said “Cara is really proud to be helping to raise money for Cancer Research UK. She knows that my work within cancer research is important and wants to do her bit.”

The Cancer Research UK Newcastle Centre works in partnership with the charity, The Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Newcastle University, the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and the North of England Children’s Cancer Research Fund.

It accelerates work into diagnosing and treating a wide range of cancers in children and adults.

This includes extending the understanding of how and why cancers develop to aid the design of new drugs and supporting the development of personalised medicine where treatments are tailored to individual cancer patient’s needs.

Over 20 medicinal chemists from the centre are so committed to their work with Cancer Research UK that they’ve signed up to fundraise and take part in Pretty Muddy at Newcastle, the Great North Run and the Shine walk in London.

Suzannah Harnor, 36, is a Senior Research Associate at the centre, working as part of the Cancer Research UK Drug Discovery Programme which is focused on identifying new molecules for cancer targets in areas of unmet medical need.

Her work involves hands on medicinal chemistry, designing and synthesising molecules that one day may become new cancer treatments.

Suzannah said: “It’s an added benefit of the Cancer Research UK funded research that we do, that we are able to provide training and experience to the next generation of researchers, as well as carrying out vital research today.”

Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life, in partnership with Tesco, is an inspiring series of 5k, 10k, Pretty Muddy and Pretty Muddy Kids events.

Jaelithe Leigh-Brown, Cancer Research UK’s spokesperson for the North East, said: “Pretty Muddy Kids has all the excitement of our much loved Pretty Muddy events – but with an extra dose of muddy fun for the little ones.

“We’re delighted that Pretty Muddy Kids and Pretty Muddy will be returning to Newcastle and Chester-le-Street. The events promise plenty of fun, thrills and spills. We hope children will rally their friends, family and schoolmates to join us and get messy for Cancer Research UK.

“Children can complete the Pretty Muddy Kids course at their own pace, climbing, jumping, walking and laughing their way around. Whether they’re bouncing on a space hopper or clambering under a cargo net, every muddy step they take will help bring forward the day when all cancers are cured.”

One in two people in the UK will be diagnosed with cancer at some stage in their lives, but the good news is more people are surviving the disease now than ever before. Cancer survival in the UK has doubled since the early 1970s and Cancer Research UK’s work has been at the heart of that progress.

Cancer Research UK’s life-saving work relies on the public’s support. Thanks to the generosity of its supporters, the charity was able to spend over £5 million last year in the North East on some of the UK’s leading scientific and clinical research – helping more men, women and children survive.

Pretty Muddy Kids is open to boys and girls aged 5 to 12 years old. The entry fee for is £10.00. All children must be accompanied by a supervising adult. Pretty Muddy is open to men, women, boys and girls over 12 years old.

To enter Race for Life Pretty Muddy Kids or Pretty Muddy today go to raceforlife.org or call 0300 123 0770.