Freedom Mobility purple balloon frontageFerndown town centre retailers have dressed their shops with purple displays and used purple balloons to create a river of purple through the town to show their support for Cancer Research UK, and to promote the launch of the 7th Bournemouth & East Dorset Relay For Life.

One of the Relay For Life volunteer organisers, Pam Bentley, liaised with the 67 retailers, banks and estate agents to create this flow of purple to help promote this years Relay For Life.

Pam explains, “Relay For Life is such a great event to be involved with, it really brings the whole community together for such a great cause, and the support shown by local businesses is absolutely brilliant!”

Cancer Research UK’s Relay For Life is a unique celebration of life and hope which unites communities to help beat cancer and culminates in a fantastic family and team event.

Teams of between eight to 15 people – of all ages, levels of fitness and from all walks of life – are needed to take part in the overnight fundraising festival at Ferndown Leisure Centre over the weekend of 12–13 July.

During the Relay itself, team members take it in turns to walk round a track while everyone else enjoys a wide range of fun activities on offer. As Relay For Life is non-stop through the night, those team members not on the track take turns to rest, eat, or sleep in their tents, which are set up close by.

As dusk falls, the atmosphere quietens as the Candle of Hope ceremony begins. The event is the most poignant part of Relay For Life when specially made Candle of Hope bags – decorated with touching messages in memory or in celebration of loved ones – are filled with sand and lit up with candles around the track.

Chris Symonds volunteer Chair of Cancer Research UK’s Relay For Life Bournemouth & East Dorset said: “We would love to hear from anyone who wants to find out more about Relay For Life and how they can help. We are especially keen to hear from businesses from Bournemouth, Poole & East Dorset as well, as this is a great social or team strengthening event for you and your staff, that not only is tremendous fun, but also helps raise vital funds to help Cancer Research UK. Everyone knows someone who has been touched by cancer. Taking part in Relay For Life is a positive way to be part of your local community and help make a real difference.”

Another part of the Relay weekend is to celebrate the ‘Survivor’s’, those that are currently fighting, or have beaten the battle with cancer. The Survivors (of all ages) are invited along to Relay For Life, not as fund raisers, but as guests of honour. At the beginning of the event the Survivors perform an initial lap of honour to kick-off the 24 hour Relay. They then judge the best fancy dressed team, before retiring to the marquee for high tea and entertainment.

Well Heeled purple frontagePam Bentley is the volunteer committee member in charge of liaising with Survivors, she said “The Survivors play such an important part in Relay, they really do add a human face to the reason why we are all here to raise money for Cancer Research UK. The first lap, with all of the Survivors in their purple t-shirts is a great way to start the Relay, and really brings everybody together in support to fight this horrid disease. As a cancer Survivor myself, it means so much for me to see all of these people raising money and joining in, it really gives me strength, and I encourage any cancer Survivors to come and be our guest of honour, and join us as we stand up to cancer.”

Cancer Research UK is dedicated to saving more lives by preventing, controlling and curing all cancers. The charity funds the work of thousands of scientists, doctors and nurses who are fighting over 200 types of cancer.

Thanks to Cancer Research UK’s work, more people are surviving cancer than ever before. Survival rates have doubled over the last 40 years and the charity’s work has been at the heart of that progress.

But despite improvements in treatment, cancer causes more than one in four of all deaths in the UK. Cancer Research UK wants to change that and needs the help of people in Ferndown to help save many more lives.

For more information on how to attend as a Survivor, or enter Relay For Life either as a team with your friends and/or family, or if you are a business and want to enter a company team, please visit cruk.org/relay or call 0871 641 2602 NOW.

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