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Hail Suffolk’s charity heroes, especially inspirational Shaun Whiter in the ITFC Charity Cycle Challenge

PUBLISHED: 22:59 19 May 2017 | UPDATED: 22:59 19 May 2017

Double amputee crash victim Shaun Whiter completes his 150-mile Tour of Suffolk.

Double amputee crash victim Shaun Whiter completes his 150-mile Tour of Suffolk.


There is definitely a healthy message attached to this month’s fantastic fundraising.

Gina Long and her friend Lisa Lumley with their London marathon medals. Why not send Gina pictures of your own fundraising (and no, it doesn't have to be a marathon...). Gina Long and her friend Lisa Lumley with their London marathon medals. Why not send Gina pictures of your own fundraising (and no, it doesn't have to be a marathon...).

Whether you want to run, cycle or even play netball, there is plenty of choice for you to get fit and healthy and raise money for your chosen charity at the same time.

Sending heartfelt congratulations and huge admiration to all the cycling charity heroes, especially inspirational Shaun Whiter, who along with more than 80 others participated in this year’s “ITFC two-day 150 miles Charity Cycle Challenge” that took place this week over two days and raised money for Prostate Cancer UK. Amazing Simon Milton organised yet another incredible event that could only take place because of the generosity of the main sponsor: GAH Refrigeration; Associate sponsors: Marshall Hatchick Solicitors, Hopkins Homes, Seven Telematics; 
Support team: Elmy Cycles, Greene King, East Of England Co-op, Global Self Drive. Congratulations to you all...

n Inspire Suffolk is the nominated charity for the Ipswich Building Society Twilight Road Races on August 18 and has been chosen as Suffolk County Council’s charity for the Great East Swim on June 17. So whether you want to join more than 1,000 people running round the streets of Ipswich or take the plunge at Alton Water reservoir, Inspire Suffolk has something for you.

The many people who took part in the ITFC Cycle challenge for Prostate Cancer UK. The many people who took part in the ITFC Cycle challenge for Prostate Cancer UK.

For more details on the event, please email or call 01473 353194.

Just a few short weeks ago, my close friend Lisa Lumley and I joined tens of thousands of people raising money for charity by taking on the London Marathon.

It was an amazing and humbling experience and I must thank everyone who supported and sponsored us.

While we were overjoyed to raise more than £18,000, there was other support that will live with us always – including the kind person in a local garage that allowed us to have a free drink when we went out on a long training run with no money!

And to our dear friends at West Suffolk College and Edmunds restaurant who prepared us a delicious carb-rich lunch to have before we tackled the 26.2 miles.

I must have also caught the running bug because I, along with my husband Andrew and several friends, will be taking my place in the Marcus Gynn Newmarket 10k on Sunday July 2.

n Sarcoma UK, a charity very close to my heart, will be the beneficiaries of the 10k named in memory of a member of the Newmarket Joggers who passed away last year.

Ideal for novice and experienced runners. More information is available from Jim Withers on 07717 652840 or

n For those looking for something a little calmer, Sarcoma UK has also launched a nationwide fundraising event to coincide with Sarcoma Awareness Week, which takes place between July 3-9.

Supporters of the charity all over the UK will host picnics at work, in parks, in their gardens, at sports clubs and at schools, to raise vital funds for sarcoma research and support.

Register at to receive your Big Picnic Pack, full of tips and advice, balloons, banners and even a picnic blanket.

n Back to the sporting action, and I am delighted to announce that RSM’s second annual charity mixed netball tournament is almost upon us.

I am delighted to share the news that RSM UK, Bury St Edmunds have chosen GeeWizz as their Charity of the Year and will be returning to the court following last year’s successful event.

A spokesman for RSM said the tournament provided a great chance to support a fantastic cause while having loads of fun and getting active.

The tournament takes place at Culford School Sports and Tennis Centre from 5.30pm on Thursday June 1.

Teams have to be made up of at least seven players, with both male and female participants, and entry is just £70 per team.

For more information, email

n GeeWizz will also be supported by an art exhibition at Maison Bleue in Bury St Edmunds, 
hosted by my dear friends Karine and Pascal Canevet, with all money raised going to help buy 
an interactive TV for the Riverwalk School in Bury St Edmunds.

Showcasing the work of Suffolk artist Ruth Simpson, the event takes place on Sunday June 11. Tickets, priced £15, are available directly from Maison Bleue on 01284 760623 or

Finally, I would like to end my column by paying tribute to the incredible volunteers who support all of these events and many, many more.

Without their dedication and support, our charities would 
miss out on some crucial fundraising.

This is never more evident than in three of our big agricultural shows – the South Suffolk Show, The Hadleigh Show taking place today and the Suffolk Show, being held on Wednesday and Thursday, May 31 and June 1.

National Volunteers Week is held between Thursday June 1 and Wednesday June 7.

This is a wonderful time to reflect, thank and pay tribute to all the hard work volunteers do 365 days of the year.

If you have a Suffolk-based 
charity event you would like to feature in this column, please email me on 
Gina Long MBE is founder of the county-based GeeWizz charity.

A teenager is seriously injured in hospital after being stabbed in the stomach in Suffolk last night.

A body has been found in the hunt for Kelvedon man Chris May, who mysteriously disappeared three years ago.

A Suffolk man who has been reported missing is believed to be using crutches after injuring his leg, police have said.

Marks & Spencer stores in East Anglia have been earmarked for closure, in a move affecting 95 staff.

It’s Dementia Action Week, an annual campaign to improve the lives of the UK’s 850,000 sufferers. Sheena Grant reports on a housing initiative that helps couples stay living together after a dementia diagnosis, however bad things get.

More than 130 teams competed in a two-day World Cup themed football festival in Ipswich at the weekend.

Three groups have boosted the funds of the My WiSH Charity’s Every Heart Matters appeal to just over £1,000.

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