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Join the Warwickshire event this weekend that’s raising £40,000 for Cancer Research UK

A RETIRED police officer and cancer survivor is almost half-way to reaching his fundraising target of £40,000.

Neil Brunton, who lives in Binton, is urging people to come to a family festival ‘Relay for Life’ on Saturday (6th July) to help him get it over the line.

The event, which is raising cash for Cancer Research UK, will bring together people from all ages and levels of fitness at Binton Social Club.

Neil’s wife Amy, who’s volunteer chairwoman, says the team have already raised £15,500 towards the target amount which will be used to fund life-saving research.

Neil, 59, was diagnosed three years ago with stage three bowel cancer.

Following surgery and treatment, he’s in remission but the couple are passionate about raising awareness of the disease.

On the set …. Neil Brunton and his wife Amy at their Binton home. Photo: Mark Williamson
On the set …. Neil Brunton and his wife Amy at their Binton home. Photo: Mark Williamson

They were approached by Cancer Research UK as they’d raised so much money for the charity, including through making personalised video messages with Neil dressed up as Santa.

During the past few months supporters have been busily raising money through sponsored bike rides and mountain climbing, bake sales, bingo, quiz nights and donations from friends and family.

The non-stop 10-hour event on Saturday will see members of nine teams taking it in turns to walk around a track, while the rest of their teammates and spectators enjoy live music from X-Factor contestant Jordan Williams, the Mike Davids Band and Shades of Black.

Other attractions include bouncy castles, face painting, ice-cream vans, coffee, cocktail, Indian street food and pizza stands.

There is also a cancer survivors’ VIP afternoon tea and during the day anyone who attends will be given a bag to decorate with messages to their loved ones.

As darkness falls, the Candle of Hope ceremony will take place where the bag is filled with sand and an LED candle is lit, transforming the track into a sea of flickering lights to honour all those affected by cancer.

Amy and Neil, who have six grandchildren, say there’s still time for anyone who wants to set up their own team, or join an existing one, to take part. There’s no limit on the number of team members and they range from four to 17.

Sponsors include insurance company Gallagher, commercial cleaners Millsales, Ronnie’s Bar in Warwick and JBS website design.

Amy said: “We’re selling event tickets and raffle tickets now, and people can also turn up on the day.

“By taking part in Relay for Life every person, every team and every pound raised will be helping Cancer Research UK scientists to make new discoveries.

“It’s also a chance to remember loved ones and honour everyone affected by cancer and celebrate progress in beating the disease.

“We hope as many people as possible will join us for an unforgettable experience.”

The day kicks off at 12 noon with an opening ceremony that will see cancer survivors complete a lap of the track, while being cheered on by friends, families and supporters.

The event opens to the public from 2pm and runs until 10pm, with tickets £5 for adults and under-12s free.

For more information about Relay for Life, visit cruk.org/relay or call 0300 123 1026.

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