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