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Relay for Life Bury St Edmunds, in aid of Cancer Research UK, raises an estimated £40,000





Wet weather failed to dampen the spirits of fund-raisers who walked their way to £40,000 in Bury St Edmunds at the weekend.

The rain stopped for the poignant start and survivors lap of the annual Relay for Life, at Nowton Park, in aid of Cancer Research UK.

Team members then walked laps of a track in relay continuously for 24 hours, with organisers estimating this year’s event would raise at least £40,000.

Relay for Life 2024. Picture: Mecha Morton
Relay for Life 2024. Picture: Mecha Morton
Relay for Life 2024. Picture: Mecha Morton
Relay for Life 2024. Picture: Mecha Morton
Survivor Archie Abbott cuts the ribbon to start the relay. Picture: Mecha Morton
Survivor Archie Abbott cuts the ribbon to start the relay. Picture: Mecha Morton

And while the relay set up was ‘the wettest ever’, the rain did hold off for the event’s key moments, according to spokesperson David Cianciola.

“All credit to everyone who braved the weather and came along. It was a wet set up, it rained throughbout the night and stopped in time for us to start the relay. In fact, all of our key moments were dry, which was incredible,” said David.

“Highlights were the first lap for the survivors, the entertainers on the stage throughout and a very moving candle of hope ceremony.

Relay for Life 2024. Picture: Mecha Morton
Relay for Life 2024. Picture: Mecha Morton
Relay for Life 2024. Picture: Mecha Morton
Relay for Life 2024. Picture: Mecha Morton
Survivor Troy Cockerell with sons Jonny (9), Harry (5) and Tommy (4). Picture: Mecha Morton
Survivor Troy Cockerell with sons Jonny (9), Harry (5) and Tommy (4). Picture: Mecha Morton

“For me, just standing on the stage and seeing the relay start is a huge highlight, followed by crying at the end when we heard how much we had raised.

“Our fund-raising target was £30,000, but the way money is coming in we think we will break through the £40,000-mark. This means that in the 15 years since the relay’s inception we have raised more than a quarter of a million.

This year’s relay had 17 teams taking part, with 270 registrations including 76 cancer survivors.

The online donations page is still open at https://bit.ly/3vGvOTg

Team Walk Walkers. Picture: Mecha Morton
Team Walk Walkers. Picture: Mecha Morton
Relay for Life 2024. Picture: Mecha Morton
Relay for Life 2024. Picture: Mecha Morton
Relay for Life 2024. Picture: Mecha Morton
Relay for Life 2024. Picture: Mecha Morton

“We’d like to say an enormous thank you to all the supporters and local businesses who help us financially or physically,” added David.

Katherine Shaw, 24, was taking part for her mother and step-father, who are both cancer survivors.

Unlike the other participants, who walked in relay, Katherine walked continuously for the entire 24 hours, covering more than 160,000 steps.

Katherine Shaw walking the Relay for Life. Picture: Andy Abbott
Katherine Shaw walking the Relay for Life. Picture: Andy Abbott
Team Positive Steps. Picture: Mecha Morton
Team Positive Steps. Picture: Mecha Morton
Haverhill Rugby club. Picture: Mecha Morton
Haverhill Rugby club. Picture: Mecha Morton

She was part of the Coffee, Cake and Cancer Stowmarket cancer support group team.

““Thank you to everyone who was cheering me on,” she said. “Gradually people noticed I hadn’t stopped and all the other teams cheered me on, it was so lovely.

“I don’t feel too bad today, surprisingly, although I was broken yesterday. I slept for 17 hours. My legs ache a bit, but it was worth it.”

Among the teams taking part was Haverhill Under 16s rugby team, which has already raised more than £4,300.

Next year’s Relay for Life will be held over the first weekend in July, with registration opening in November. For more information, go to www.relayforlifebse.info