Relay For Life

CANCER RESEARCH UK is asking everyone in South East London to find at least eight people they want to spend the night with – all for a seriously good cause.

The charity is encouraging friends, family and work colleagues to get together and enter South East London’s Relay For Life; a unique 24 hour celebration of life and hope which unites the local community to help beat cancer. Relay for Life is a global phenomenon, taking place in the US, Malaysia, Turkey and Indonesia to name a few.

Teams of between 8 to 15 people, of all ages, levels of fitness and from all walks of life are invited to be part of this global movement to beat cancer sooner – to camp out, to walk the track, to enjoy the music, entertainment, food, fun and games at Alexandra Junior School, Cator Road, London SE26 5DS over the weekend of 16th and 17th July.

Relay participants are asked to raise funds in the months leading up to the event through fundraising activities and securing donations from friends, families and work colleagues.

Pamela Vaz, volunteer chairperson of the organising committee for South East London Relay For Life, has taken part in events in other regions.

She said: “Taking part in Relay For Life was an amazing experience. It’s a really special event, especially the Candle of Hope ceremony in memory or celebration of loved ones.

“It’s a lot of fun and a real community event. Not only do you feel like you’re making a difference, but the emphasis on survivors really sets it apart and provides a really tangible reminder of what we’re all working towards.”   

Committee member Graham McLeish said: “We all know someone whose life has been affected by cancer, and my own family is no different.  I jumped at the chance to get involved when I was given the opportunity to join the volunteer committee and we are looking forward to making this a great and unique event for the area.”

During the Relay itself, team members take it in turns to walk round a track while everyone else enjoys a wide range of fun activities on offer, including live music.

As dusk falls, the atmosphere quietens as the Candle of Hope ceremony begins. The event is the most poignant part of Relay For Life when specially made Candle of Hope lanterns- decorated with touching messages in memory or in celebration of loved ones – are lit up around the track and a live gospel choir sings.

As Relay For Life is non-stop through the night, those team members not on the track can take turns to rest, eat, or sleep in their tents nearby.

Cancer Research UK funds the work of thousands of scientists, doctors and nurses who are dedicated to beating cancer by understanding its causes and investigating how best to prevent, diagnose and treat it.

Thanks to Cancer Research UK’s work, more people are surviving cancer than ever before. Survival rates have doubled over the last 40 years and the charity’s work has been at the heart of that progress.

But despite improvements in treatment, cancer causes more than one in four of all deaths in the UK. Cancer Research UK wants to change that and needs the help of people in South East London to get involved and to help save many more lives.

For more information on how to enter Relay For Life, visit or call 08716 41 26 02.