A new community event coming to the Richmond area has already raised over £18,000 for Cancer Research UK thanks to the efforts of South West London-based volunteers.

Relay For Life Richmond takes place on 15 July 2017 at Barn Elms Sports Trust in Barnes. Beginning at midday, the Cancer Research UK community event features teams who walk for 24 hours and who have been fundraising all year. Live music, entertainment, raffles, dance lessons and more will bring a festival feel to Barnes to both cheer on the walkers and attract spectators to show their support.

It is the first time that Relay For Life has come to South West London. The event is part of a global fundraising programme that brings together communities in the fight against cancer and a celebration of survival. Spearheaded by Cancer Research UK, the events are organised by a team of local volunteers.

Relay For Life is a walking challenge where teams take it in turns to walk throughout a 24-hour period in recognition of the 24/7 reality that cancer is to those it impacts. The special event is also a celebration of hope and survivorship.

Relay For Life Richmond volunteer event chair Georgi Blunsum explains: “The support for the first Cancer Research UK Relay For Life to come to South West London has been phenomenal. Our team members and volunteers have hosted events ranging from spinathons, bake sales, car boot sales and garden parties to speed dating sessions all to raise money. We cannot wait to say thank you to them and the people of South West London with a day of festival fun on 15 July in Barnes. We look forward to welcoming spectators to take part in this incredible day.”

Fun, free events happening on 15 July 2017 at Barn Elms Sports Trust include:

• A warm up for the teams of walkers – and those looking for a high energy Saturday - by Wimbledon-based fitness instructor Shelly Palmer, also known as Fabulicious Fitness, at 11.45am.

• Opening lap of honour for cancer survivors and their friends and family. The lap of honour will be led by cancer survivor and Cancer Research UK ambassador Paul Blacketer who will begin the event with a short talk at midday.

• Swing dancing lessons from Swing Patrol, the dance school and troop behind London’s top Swing Nights, at 1pm.

• Live music from bands and singers performing sets throughout the afternoon and evening. Listen out for favourite covers with sets beginning at 2pm, 4pm and 7pm.

• Stalls, raffles, face painting, arts and crafts and plenty of opportunities to win amazing prizes all day including those donated by local businesses such as the Olympic Studios in Barnes and Sporting Feet in Richmond.

• A special Candle of Hope ceremony at 9.30pm to remember those who didn’t win their fight with cancer, or those still battling.

Relay For Life Richmond is free to attend for all. Donations to the event can be made at www.cruk.org/relay. There is still time for teams to sign up and for survivors to register to attend and enjoy VIP treatment such taking part in the opening lap of honour and enjoying a special afternoon tea.

Cancer Research UK is dedicated to saving more lives by preventing, controlling and curing all cancers. Survival rates have doubled over the last 40 years 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 the Richmond area to help save many more lives.

Article supplied by Sarah Rathbone