Sunday 14 July 2024
 11.5°C   NNE Moderate Breeze
Ocean Kinetics - The Engineering Experts

News / Islanders rally behind record breaking Relay for Life

A RECORD £158,000 plus has been raised at the UK’s largest ever Relay for Life fund raising event, held in Shetland over the weekend.

The 12 hour overnight event at the Clickimin running track, in Lerwick, organised by Cancer Research UK, attracted more than 1,900 participants, almost 10 per cent of the islands’ population.

Among them were around 120 cancer survivors of all ages, celebrating the fact that they had beaten a disease that affects almost every family and cuts short so many lives.

Retired businessman John Tait, from Scalloway, lost his wife Charlotte to stomach cancer 17 years ago. Then, in 2008, he had his right leg amputated after a cancerous tumour was discovered in his thigh.

Speaking about how cancer has changed his outlook on life, the 71 year old said he had been keen to support the local event.

“You feel the rest of your life is here for living, you don’t take everything for granted anymore and you appreciate things a wee bit more after you have been through this,” he said.

He added that the Shetland community had “a tremendous spirit of togetherness” which was again proven by the number of people turning out for the Shetland Relay for Life, on Saturday evening.

Following an initial round completed by everybody and led by the many survivors, the idea of the fundraising event is to have at least one member of the 133 teams participating walking on the running track at any one time during the night long relay.

There were also plenty of opportunities for reflecting on the many friends and family that had lost the battle against cancer, such as the hundreds of candles in decorated bags lit in memory of those who have died.

Chairwoman of the local organising committee, Olive MacLeod said she and her team have been working since October last year to get everything ready for the night.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

 

She added: “I think this has caught the imagination of the community because Shetland is a small place. People know each other and they want to help each other. If somebody gets cancer then a lot of people know about it – and that is why there are so many people here tonight.

“The amount of support we have received over the previous months was just fantastic and I am sure that at the end of the night we are going to have a wonderful overall total to contribute to cancer research.”

By Sunday morning almost £160,000 had been raised, but this amount is likely to grow further over coming weeks with the final total not being announced before the end of June.

Cancer Research UK’ relay organiser for Scotland, Louise Robertson said that in 2009 the national charity had contributed a staggering £355million to research projects and the provision of doctors and nurses throughout the UK.

“Relay for Life is a community event and this is the biggest Relay for Life that has ever happened in the UK. I am speechless with the number of people who are here tonight – over 1,900.

“The money that they are raising makes such a difference to people’s lives. It is just fantastic to see the 117 survivors here tonight showing a vision of hope for everybody.

“The community has absolutely to be applauded. In the last months I have run out of words from amazing, to unbelievable to overwhelming. It really is inspiring,” she said.

Depending on his crutches to get around John Tait was determined to also complete a full round on the track at Clickimin, on Saturday night.

Afterwards he said: “This is very moving, very emotional. There is some sadness, obviously, but there should be a lot of happiness too. Hope I suppose is the word we should be looking at tonight.

“Look at all these candles which all represent someone who has passed away through cancer. It is a very moving occasion.”

The next Shetland Relay for Life will be held in 2012.

 

Become a supporter of Shetland News

Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.

Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.

Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has  over 600 supporters  who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.

Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -

  • Bring you the headlines as they happen;
  • Stay editorially independent;
  • Give a voice to the community;
  • Grow site traffic further;
  • Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.

If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.

 
Categories

Newsletters

Subscribe to a selection of different newsletters from Shetland News, varying from breaking news delivered on the minute, to a weekly round-up of the opinion posts. All delivered straight to your inbox.

Daily Briefing Newsletter Weekly Highlights Newsletter Opinion Newsletter Life in Shetland Newsletter

JavaScript Required

We're sorry, but Shetland News isn't fully functional without JavaScript enabled.
Head over to the help page for instructions on how to enable JavaScript on your browser.

Your Privacy

We use cookies on our site to improve your experience.
By using our service, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.

Browser is out-of-date

Shetland News isn't fully functional with this version of .
Head over to the help page for instructions on updating your browser for more security, improved speed and the best overall experience on this site.

Interested in Notifications?

Get notifications from Shetland News for important and breaking news.
You can unsubscribe at any time.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

We're committed to ensuring everyone has equitable access to impartial, open and quality local journalism that benefits all residents.

By supporting Shetland News, you play a vital role in ensuring we remain a pivotal resource in supporting the community.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.