VOLUNTEERS in Colchester raised more than £22,000 for a cancer charity in a 24-hour relay.

Relay for Life took place with 75 fundraisers taking turns to walk all day and night at the Garrison Athletics Stadium in support of Cancer Research UK .

Starting at 11am on Saturday, cancer survivors completed the opening lap, followed by an introduction of teams in their Disney-themed costumes.

A remembrance ceremony also took place later in the evening, when everyone stopped to spell out the word “Hope” with candle bags decorated with heartfelt messages.

The Candle of Hope ceremony helped volunteers reflect and remember those who are undergoing cancer treatment as well as loved ones who are no longer with them.

The event closed exactly 24 hours later when the youngest fundraiser Poppy-Rose Smith, aged 14 months, crossed the line.

Event chairman Ken Taylor said: “In a time where charities have been hugely hit by the pandemic, it was wonderful to get out and do the fundraising that everyone who is part of Relay For Life loves to do and to boost the funding for Cancer Research UK.

“This being my tenth relay and first live event as event chairman has certainly been the hardest, but also the most satisfying due to the circumstances surrounding it.”