This year, Cancer Research UK is bringing together thousands of people from across the country to celebrate the lives of those touched by cancer and raise vital funds through ‘Relay for Life’.

Relay For Life is a unique event in which teams of family, friends or colleagues get together to relay around a track, taking turns to walk the course for the duration of the event (between 12 and 24 hours). When not walking, teams can enjoy a picnic, play games or take advantage of a wide range of entertainments, such as music and dance performances and sporting activities.

The event, which began in the US in 1984, now takes place in more than 20 countries around the globe, making it the world’s largest fundraising event. Since it first arrived in the UK in 1996, Relay For Life has grown in popularity and this year celebrates its biggest year ever, as a record-breaking 94 events take place nationwide.

Between March and September, communities as far apart as Brighton, the Welsh Valleys and Shetland, will be coming together to celebrate Relay For Life and the progress that has already been made in cancer research. The event hopes to raise more than £2 million to help Cancer Research UK beat cancer.

The event starts with a Survivors’ Lap of Honour, with cancer survivors walking the first lap of the course as a testimony to progress made in cancer research. In the evening, every Relay holds a Candle of Hope Ceremony, in which people are invited to dedicate a candle to those who have died from cancer, or to celebrate the lives of those who have survived the disease. Everyone in the local area is invited to come along to show their support and participate in the ceremonies that take place.

Relay For Life is not a sponsored event, but participants raise money in advance, for example through asking for donations and selling specially designed ‘Candle of Hope’ bags. A booklet with fundraising ideas is sent to each team on registration, and teams can top up their money with activities on the day.

In 2006 Cancer Research UK held 46 Relay for Life events across the UK, raising more than £1 million for the charity’s life-saving research. To find out how you can get involved, click here.


For media enquiries, please contact Lisa Flanagan or Anna Hilton on 020 7061 8308 / 8314 or, out-of-hours, the duty press officer on 07050 264 059.


Relay for Life

  • Teams should be between 8-15 people.
  • The entry fee is £10 per team member, which covers the cost of putting on the event.
  • Each team needs a team captain to coordinate their members and organise a walking schedule, tents and fundraising activities.

About Cancer Research UK

  • Together with its partners and supporters, Cancer Research UK’s vision is to beat cancer.
  • Cancer Research UK carries out world-class research to improve understanding of the disease and find out how to prevent, diagnose and treat different kinds of cancer.
  • Cancer Research UK helps people to understand cancer, the progress that is being made and the choices each person can make.
  • Cancer Research UK works in partnership with others to achieve the greatest impact in the global fight against cancer.

For further information about Cancer Research UK or to find out how to support the charity, please call 020 7009 8820 or visit our homepage.


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