Friday, 20 November 2009

2009 Relay Final Update

Well we now know that this year's Relay has raised the incredible total of £86,000 for Cancer Research UK. The gross figure is more than £95,000. And some money remains to be collected. The total since 2006 now stands at £296,000.

This means that the 2009 Relay was the most successful financially of the four Relays held at the Bannister Centre since 2006. Taking into account the other successes previously reported - number of survivors (67), participants (320), candles (600+), visitors (more than 3,500), the wonderful candle of Hope ceremony, the amazing cancer awareness programme and the sheer fun of the day - we can say that the 2009 Relay was the best we have organised.

Harrow Relay is taking a break in 2010, as several committee members (including Gill and I) have other commitments. But we will be back in 2011 - earlier in the summer in future - and hope to have even more teams and do even better in all aspects. Our financial target will be £150,000. We hope to have our own website for the 2011 Relay that will be up and running in the spring.

So this will be my last posting on this blog. Before I sign off, let me also acknowledge the amazing success of another local Relay, the Canons Relay which took place at North London Collegiate School over the weekend of July 4/5th. Organised by the girls, the event raised more than £75,000 net and was a stunning success as an event - the highlight of the school year. And to crown this, the two co-chairs - Davina and Jahnavi - were awarded the coveted International Relay For Life award for Youth. Gill and I are particularly proud of the Canons Relay as Davina is our daughter, and Gill was the responsible adult for the event.

Bye for now.


Monday, 12 October 2009

That was the 2009 Relay!

I've neglected the blog a bit this year, so here's an update on the 2009 Harrow (and Ruislip this year) Relay.

- Funds raised so far exceed £73,000 after expenses, making this the most successful Relay financially bar 2007, which had some exceptional donations.

- 21 teams took part, and 67 survivors

- More than 600 candle bags were sold, including one for £250.

- The teams excelled themselves with their stalls: food, Wii competition, karaoke, loads of tombolas, apple-bobbing, test your strength and many others.

The weather was on our side too: warm without being too hot, and a mild night.

The Candle of Hope Ceremony was stunning. Urban Voices, a local choir, accompanied the walk to Hope Hill and sang us around the track after the silent contemplation. The mayors of Harrow and Hillingdon, together with the Deputy Lieutenant of Harrow read moving poems and reminded us of the successes that had been achieved by research.

This Relay also provided our best and most effective Cancer Awareness activities since we started in 2006. As well as displays by local health organisations, we had an inflatable bowel to encourage uptake of the national bowel cancer screening programme and a sunSmart hat decoration competition and parade to remind people to protect themselves against the sun. Many people also had fun with our salad jigsaw encouraging healthy eating. And eighteen members of the public signed up for the stop smoking programme, much to the delight of the healthcare staff present.

Many thanks to the committee for all their hard work, to the many volunteers who helped out for an hour or two or in some cases the entire weekend, the many organisations that helped us with tables and chairs, lighting, sound system, food, first aid, sand and security, and of course the Bannister Centre staff who looked after us for the weekend.

Our next Relay is currently under discussion and we will be communicating with you all in due course with an update. If you would like to be kept informed about our future plans, please contact me on


Friday, 12 June 2009

2009 Relay

Welcome back everyone!

Plans are well advanced for the 2009 Relay, being held over the weekend of 12/13th September in Harrow. We've teamed up with last year's Ruislip Relay committee so if you're anywhere from Uxbridge to Edgware we'd like to see you at our Relay.

One difference from previous years - we're going to hold the Opening Ceremony at 11.30am before the public arrive at 1pm, allowing everyone to take part and not worry about looking after your fete stalls.

We'll be finishing earlier this year too - at 9.30am - to give people a bit more time to clear up and so that we can hold our Closing Ceremony while we are all still wide awake!

While we already have as many teams as last year, we're open to new teams this year!. Many of our teams are returning - several for a fourth year - but we're keen to recruit new teams. So if you think you might be interested, download our Information Sheet from the links list on the right of the page and have a read.

This year my co-Chair Gillian has stepped down to focus on Cancer Awareness and the Candle of Hope Ceremony. I've been joined by Danielle Blake, formerly of the Ruislip Relay Committee.

If you have any questions about what being a team captain entails, just contact me (my email address and phone number are on the information sheet).

Hope to see you at Relay!


Thursday, 18 September 2008

Thanks everyone!

Well I don't know about you but we had an absolute blast at this year's Relay. Who would have believed that almost 4,000 people would come through the gates during the afternoon and evening. Our teams could barely keep up with the number of people wanting to have a go at their stalls, and had to go and collect extra prizes. Now that's what we call a community event!

We're still collecting money but we can tell you that on the day we took almost twice as much as last year. Equally important were the more than seventy people walking the survivor lap, the many health messages and the sheer wonderful atmosphere of the ceremonies. We'll post the final figure in due course but we are very hopeful of raising enough to take us over the £200,000 mark since Harrow Relay started in 2006.

There's nothing like going out on a high point. Gill and Leslie are proposing to step down as co-chairs next year to take on other roles on the committee, and allowing for fresh blood and ideas to take the lead. We'll let you know the full story once we have our next committee meeting. But if any of you out there would like to get more involved, please let us know. No position is sacrosanct and we want to expand the committee to reduce the burden on any individual.

Till then, enjoy the satisfaction of having contributed to an amazingly successful event.

Leslie and Gill

Thursday, 31 July 2008

Lunch and Fun and other news

First, a big welcome to the new teams that have joined our Relay in the last few weeks. We hope that you are enjoying your fundraising and preparing your activities for the event itself. Look here for essential information.

Harrow's status as a flagship Relay is being recognised by the attendance this year of Harpal Kumar, Chief Executive of Cancer Research UK.
We are very honoured to have him as our guest, alongside the Mayor of Harrow, Home Office Minister and local MP Tony McNulty, and senior representatives of Harrow Council, Harrow Primary Care Trust and North West London Hospitals NHS Trust.

Relay is shaping up to be something of a uniformed affair
with teams from the local army cadets, sea cadets, community police and medical cadets, plus attendees from the local police, fire and ambulance services.. Final planning is now underway, and you can find an updated programme in the links opposite. This year should - weather permitting - be the best yet.

Last Sunday we held our annual "Lunch and Fun" event in Pinner.
Almost forty team members, representing eight teams, joined our committee for a buffet lunch and some party games. Click here for some photos of the teams trying to propel their eggs across the garden without the eggs cracking!

Harrow Relay For Life was featured in the July 17 edition of the Harrow Observer
, with a near full-page article with photos from last year. An appeal for volunteers in the article has already led to new helpers and a new team. More articles are planned in the run-up to the event, and we hope that this will encourage even more people to attend on the day.

Gill and Leslie will be training new Relay chairs at the Rickmansworth Relay a fortnight before our own. If any of you newbies would like to see a Relay in action before the big day then we'd welcome you at the Royal Masonic Girls School in Rickmansworth on Saturday 30th August.

See you all soon!

Leslie and Gill

Thursday, 3 July 2008

Latest Harrow Relay Information

As of today we have 27 teams and we are still open for new teams. If you are interested in forming a team then please download the New Team Captain information sheet from the links on the right of the page.

You can also download the latest programme of activities for both the Saturday and Sunday. As well as the scheduled games, acts and competitions you will also be able to visit the many fete stalls manned by team-members. Food and drink will be on sale (free hot drinks for team members) throughout the Saturday afternoon.

Relay 2008 is shaping up to be the best yet, both in range of activities and number of participants. We have today gained the backing of our local paper the Harrow Observer who will be writing about various aspects of Relay over the next few weeks, which we hope will encourage even more people to attend on the day. Together with support from local supermarkets Morrison's and Waitrose, plus the local police, fire and ambulance services and Harrow Primary Care Trust as well as local schools and businesses, Harrow Relay is truly representative of our disparate local community.

If you are browsing this site, then please do get in touch and become part of the largest community charity event in the county. You'll have a wonderful time!

Leslie and Gill

Thursday, 5 June 2008

Report on Launch Party

Last weekend a number of Committee members and team members descended on Brent Cross Shopping Centre to promote the Harrow Relay. We had a stall next to Marks and Spencer and were able to distribute leaflets, talk to potential team captains and sign up volunteers. We were also given the run of the Centre to collect money and in just a couple of hours raised over £700.

We're very grateful to the Centre management and also to Starbucks who provided free refreshments throughout the morning.

Thanks to all of you who helped out, including representatives of the Royal Army Medical Corps Cadet force in their splendid uniforms!
Leslie and Gill