My cancer battle will not stop me from helping homeless in virtual fundraising walk

A virtual 24-hour relay event takes place this week to raise thousands of pounds to help put an end to homelessness in Greater Manchester.

The Manchester 24 Hour Run Against Homelessness event takes place on November 18-19, aiming to raise £3000 for the Bed Every Night Scheme, run by the Greater Manchester Mayor’s Charity, which provides a bed, warm welcome, and personal support for anyone who is sleeping rough or at imminent risk of sleeping rough in Greater Manchester.

Helen Bannister, aged 53, is taking part in the event, despite battling bowel cancer for the second time, and being due to start chemotherapy the day after the 10K walk.

She said: “I’m really pleased to be able to join in because I really thought it wouldn’t fit in around my treatments, I’m very much still up for it. I’m excited about it – I’ve built my distance up gradually since I had surgery, and it is for a very important cause.

“I think we’ve lost some of that sense of community that we had in the first lockdown, the sense of supporting everybody, and maybe this will help inspire a few people to get back out there and do the charitable things they had been doing.”

The Manchester 24 Hour Run, hosted by Manchester University’s Student Union, wants the relay event to reach around 1400km, which would take you from Land’s End to John O’Groats. Participants will upload their walking or running distances from home on Strava to be added to the cumulative total.

Event organiser, James Bannister, from Manchester University’s Student Union, added: “We still wanted to do something even though it is a difficult time as we are all at home. But this way everyone can join in and raise money that will help toward’s Manchester’s homelessness problem. It’s nice to do something that can have an impact and make a difference!”

To find out more information about the event and how to get involved go to: www.mcr24hourrun.co.uk

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