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Houghton Hall Race for Life date set as vital charity hope to address funding loss

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West Norfolk residents are being encouraged to sign up for a charity event in aid of cancer this year after a fall in funding.

Cancer Research UK has estimated a staggering £300 million drop in income over the next three years due to Covid-19, which could put future medical breakthroughs at risk.

As a result, the national charity is urging people to sign up for 2021’s Race for Life event to help scientists find new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer.

Cancer survivor Sara Wilson backs Race for Life. Picture: SUBMITTED
Cancer survivor Sara Wilson backs Race for Life. Picture: SUBMITTED

In normal circumstances, Race for Life attracts hundreds of participants to flock to Houghton Hall.

The last event at the country house grounds was in July 2019 with more than £39,000 being raised on the day.

Although 2020’s Race for Life had to be cancelled due to the pandemic, some fundraisers decided to do their bit by running on their own for the cause.

Action from the Race for Life in 2018
Action from the Race for Life in 2018

And this year’s date for the Houghton Hall race has been pencilled in for July 13.

The Race for Life events take place across the east of England and are open to people of all ages and abilities.

Emily Rowling, Cancer Research UK’s event manager for West Norfolk, said: “All 400 mass-participation Race for Life events across the UK were cancelled last year to protect the country’s health during the Covid-19 pandemic. So this year, more than ever, we need people to come together and help beat the disease.

“The truth is, Covid-19 has slowed us down. But we will never stop and we are absolutely determined to continue to create better cancer treatments for tomorrow.

“Every step our scientists take towards beating cancer relies on our supporters. Our Race for Life events are open to all and we’re sending a heart-felt message to everyone to come together in 2021.”

As organisation steps up for this year’s event, the charity says participants will set off on the course either alone or in small socially distanced groups.

Hand sanitiser will also be provided at all events with participants encouraged to use it before and after the event.

Mrs Rowling said: “As always at our events, the health and safety of participants, staff and volunteers is our top priority.

“It may be that events look a little different this year but we are working proactively with our venues and suppliers to deliver a socially distanced but great experience.”

Race for Life is a series of 3k, 5k, 10k, ‘Pretty Muddy’ and ‘Pretty Muddy Kids’ events which raise millions of pounds every year to help beat cancer by funding crucial research.

This year will be the 20th anniversary of Tesco’s partnership with Race for Life.

To enter the event, visit raceforlife.org.

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