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Community / Impressive fundraising total for virtual Relay for Life

The committee displaying the total on Monday. From left to right: Sarah-Jane Moore, Sheryl Maclennan, Olive Macleod, Amanda Fraser, Fiona Irvani, Martin Henderson, Kelly Thomson, Graeme Howell, Sophie Whitehead, Kerry Eunson. Photo: Relay for Life Shetland

THE SHETLAND community has raised more than £130,000 for Cancer Research UK in the first virtual Relay for Life.

Committee chairman Martin Henderson said it was “phenomenal” how much people have raised when Covid restrictions were in place.

The total from the 2020/21 virtual relay was £131,127.12, with 36 teams taking part.

Not only have Covid restrictions been in place, but there have also been the economic impacts of the pandemic to deal with too.

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“Thank you very much to the community of Shetland for all your support,” Henderson said.

He said the money will go towards helping Cancer Research UK to get back on track after the pandemic.

Heather Duff from Cancer Research UK said her “jaw hit the floor” when hearing about the total raised.

“As a committee you have done a phenomenal job once again and brought the Shetland Community together to raise vital funds for Cancer Research UK,” she told the organisers.

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“It is all the more impressive given the challenging circumstances. When people ask me about my job I always tell them about amazing committees like you and people are in disbelief when I tell them how much Shetland contributes towards research.”

Around £190,000 was raised by the local Relay for Life when the event was last held in person in 2018.

The all-night fundraising event, which takes place every two years, was postponed in 2020. The next Relay is due to be held on 28 May 2022.

Within Covid regulations a vast number of fund-raising initiatives took place over the last year during the ‘virtual’ relay.

This ranged from Sunday teas in a box to head shaves, sponsored walks and plant sales.

Amongst the fundraising were some poignant virtual events held in late May, including a survivors’ video and a candle of hope ceremony.

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