Can you stay dry for January and help raise cash for charity with Cancer Research UK’s Dryathlon campaign?

Preventing alcohol-related admissions to already stretched Accident and Emergency departments is a p

Preventing alcohol-related admissions to already stretched Accident and Emergency departments is a priority in Suffolk, a health watchdog has said. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

The people of Suffolk are being challenged to lose the booze next month to help raise money for charity.

Cancer Research UK wants people to take part in its January Dryathlon and forego alcohol for 31 days.

By raising sponsorship money donated by friends and family the ‘dryathletes’, as Cancer Research UK has dubbed them, will be help to help the charity.

It is also suggested those taking part donate the money they would have spent on alcohol to the cause and boost the fundraising total even more.

The challenge has been running now for two years and Cancer Research UK hopes the public will be ready to embrace the initiative once again.

There were 55,000 people taking part in the dryathlon last year, including thousands from East Anglia.

Altogether a massive £5.8million was raised to fund the charity’s work to beat cancer.

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Paula Young, Cancer Research UK spokesperson for Suffolk, said: “We’re hoping Dryathlon 2015 will be our best yet and we believe the men and women of Suffolk will say ‘cheers’ to helping us succeed in our mission to beat cancer sooner.

“It may be the height of party season but we’re encouraging people to commit to Dryathlon now so they’re ready and raring to go on January 1.

“Every pound raised by our iron-willed dryathletes will help fund life-saving research.”

Cancer survival rates have doubled since the 1970s but more funds and more supporters are needed to bring forward the day when all cancers are cured.

Ms Young added: “As well as raising money to help save lives our dryathletes have told us about the great sense of achievement that comes from realising their goal, along with the added bonus of 31 hangover-free days.

“Whatever the motivation for taking part now’s the time to sign up and banish the booze this January.”

Anyone who wants to take part in the dryathlon can visit where they will find more information about the challenge.

As well as taking part as an individual people are also being encouraged to take part in teams of friends, work colleagues or relatives.

If the challenge seems a little daunting for some Cancer Research UK is also suggesting a tipple tax.

Instead of abstaining from alcohol for an entire month it asks people to make a donation each time they have a drink.