North East Connected

Relay-ing a message of hope in fight against cancer

RELAY-ING A MESSAGE OF HOPE IN FIGHT AGAINST CANCERCharity champs are on track to raise vitally-needed cash at the annual Relay for Life in South Tyneside.

The 22-hour relay, which is an all-night festival of hope and commemoration, will take place at Monkton Stadium in Jarrow from 16 to 17 July. All money raised will go to Cancer Research UK.

South Tyneside Council is supporting the event with several councillors preparing to take part.

Councillor Tracey Dixon, Lead Member for Independence and Wellbeing, said: “The Relay for Life is a special event. Not only does it raise funds for a worthwhile cause, it also brings people together.

“It is an opportunity for people to reflect and remember all those affected by cancer, including increasing numbers who have successfully beaten this disease. It brings with it a message of hope for the future so this event also has a focus on fun with a mix of music, games and entertainment throughout.”

During the relay, team members take turns to run or walk around the track. One member must be on the track at any one time over the 22 hours that the event runs. The event, now in its tenth year, starts at 11am on Saturday with the Survivors’ Lap of Honour which sees cancer survivors walk the first lap, cheered by supporters, to show the great strides being made in the fight against cancer. This year’s opening ceremony will also see Ann Walsh receive the British Empire medal from the Lord Lieutenant of Tyne and Wear for services to Cancer Research UK.

Another highlight of the event is the Candle of Hope ceremony at 10pm when hundreds of candles representing people affected by cancer will be lit.

Ann Walsh, Chairman of the Relay for Life Jarrow committee, said: “This event is hugely important in raising vital funds to help us beat cancer. But it is so much more than just a fund-raising initiative.  This event has a real celebratory feel to it as we pause to remember the steps we have made against cancer and the challenge that still lies ahead of us.

“This year we are expecting more than 600 people in 60 teams to take part. I would urge people to come along and support the participants, enjoy the evening and help use raise money to help make cancer a disease of the past.”

The Relay for Life has raised more than £400,000 since it started in South Tyneside ten years ago. This year it hopes to raise a further £100,000 which will take the total raised since it started to half a million. All money raised goes to Cancer Research UK to fund world-class research to improve understanding of the disease and learn more about how best to prevent, diagnose and treat different forms of cancer. Trials and research carried out at the Northern Institute for Cancer Research in Newcastle are funded by some of the money raised.

For more information about the Relay for Life, visit or contact Ann Walsh, Chair of Cancer Research UK Relay for Life in Jarrow, on 07946351423 or email

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