Fundraisers and cancer survivors are celebrated at the 6th Relay for Life in Bury St Edmunds

Teams walking together at Ickworth Park in front of the iconic rotunda for the inspiring overnight R

Teams walking together at Ickworth Park in front of the iconic rotunda for the inspiring overnight Relay For Life celebration and commemoration supporting Cancer Research UK. - Credit: Archant

An annual fundraising event that marks the achievements of cancer survivors and raises awareness of the disease saw hundreds of people come together this weekend.

The 6th Cancer Research UK Relay for Life in Bury St Edmunds was an overnight celebration at Ickworth Park, which organisers hope will raise £40,000 for the charity.

In total 19 teams took part, with members taking it in turn to walk the track for the full 21 hours while the entertainment continued around them.

The event opened yesterday at noon with the survivors’ Lap of Honour, accompanied by The Pipes & Drums of the Glenmoriston Pipe Band, while another moving part of the occasion was the Candle of Hope Ceremony that night.

As dusk fell, hundreds of dedicated candles were lit in remembrance of loved ones and placed around the track, creating a circle of light.

Lorraine Cockerton, Relay event chair, said: “It’s an amazing amount of people taking part. Here today we have 19 teams. I would like us to reach £40,000. We have to wait and see.”

She said the event celebrated the efforts of the fundraisers, as well as the cancer survivors, including her mother Yvonne Arratoon who was taking part.

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She added: “And really having the survivors present shows what we are doing benefits them and they are the proof of it. We all know huge advances have been made [in fighting the disease].”

Among the teams was ‘Parrots of the Caribbean’, which was involved for the third year and this year was made up of 21 people.

Team captain Jill Allum, from Lakenheath, said she was just so glad her mother Sue Hunter, from Norton, who was taking part, was still around.

“That’s the main thing,” she said. “She had breast cancer and she’s five years clear now.

“I don’t know how I would cope without her. She’s still your mum.”

Emma Goodfellow, also from the team, added: “It’s creating more awareness. Cancer is a massive thing in every walk of life.”

Other highlights at the Relay for Life event included guest speaker Dr David Kent, who spoke about the advances made in cancer research, a cancer awareness tent, musical entertainment from The Suffolk Samba Band as well as the huge variety of stalls, such as a coconut shy, cake stands and face painting.

In the past five years, the Bury Relay for Life has raised more than £250,000 in vital funds for Cancer Research UK.