Pier to Pier walk brings together Cancer Research UK supporters on coastal trek from Sunderland to South Shields

More than 150 people donned blue and purple hats on a seven-mile walk to raise awareness for Cancer Research UK today.

Sunday, 24th March 2019, 6:39 pm
Updated Sunday, 24th March 2019, 6:53 pm
The walkers get ready to leave Roker earlier on today.

It was a windy but bright start at Roker Pier afternoon as Ann Walsh kicked off the trek to The Groyne in South Shields.

The second annual Pier to Pier walk aimed to raise awareness for Cancer Research and the determined group of around 150 walkers are hoping to raise £400.

The walkers get ready to leave Roker earlier on today.

Organiser Ann Walsh said the group decided to bring the walk back for a second year after it made its debut last March, with the end point changed to Conversation Piece, the statues near to the Little Haven Hotel in South Shields, from the seafront skate park last time.

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It will be followed on from its main event, the Relay for Life, which will be held on the weekend of April 13 and 14, with many of the teams taking part in that so joining in with the walk.

Ann said: “The atmosphere was really good, but it was cold, and it helps raise awareness for Cancer Research UK.

“We have already got £22,500 in the bank and this event will tip over to £23,000 and there’s more to come in.

Organisers said 150 people took part in the event.

“It’s quite nice to see people get together, as they often don’t see people the rest of the year, and there is so much support in the area.

“It’s a chance to talk to the different groups and keep in touch with each other.”

Volunteers were ready on the finishing line to offer walkers tea and coffee to help them warm up and congratulate those completing the event

One of the walkers taking part was David Meikle, who works with organiser Ann at Epinay Business and Enterprise School.

One group of walkers after they crossed the finishing line in South Shields.

He said: “She does an awful lot for fundraising and amazing work for Cancer Research.

“I think this is a fun and healthy way to raise awareness.

“There’s lots of people already out and about doing the walk and it’s a great way to take in the local scenery for a good cause.”

Also among the walkers was Jean Finlay who lost her husband to cancer.

She signed up to do the walk alone but met another lone walker, Karen Foster, and the pair decided to walk together.

Jean, 65, of Sunderland, said: “I lost my husband Barry to cancer so I try do what I can to raise money.

“I’ve done the St Clare’s walks before, but they’ve closed now.

“I saw this one advertised and decided to come along.

“My friends and family are always supportive and sponsor me when I do things like this.”

Cash raised during the walk will be donated through this year’s relay, which will be staged at Monkton Stadium in Jarrow.

The relay, started by Ann 13 years ago, has raised more than £600,000 for the charity.

It sees teams of fundraisers taking it in turns to continuously walk round the track, with 32 groups already signed up to join in.

To take part in the March on Cancer Walk email annwalsh11@aol.com.