Race for Life on the Isle of Wight has been cancelled, but an alternative has been offered. Picture by Jennifer Burton.
ONE of the Isle of Wight's most popular fundraisers, Cancer Research UK's Race for Life, has been cancelled because the charity claims it is not cost effective.
A businessman has stepped forward however, to organise an alternative event open to everyone, not just women.
The Isle of Wight Race for Life, held at Seaclose Park, Newport, is one of several smaller events across the UK that have been scrapped as Cancer Research UK looks to cut costs.
The charity's event manager for Hampshire, Janice Burt, said: "Race for Life helps fund life-saving research so we owe it to our participants and supporters to ensure we raise as much as possible in the most cost-efficient way.
"Although around 700 women took part in the Isle of Wight event last year, entries were lower than anticipated.
"Considering the cost of staging the event, we have had to take the difficult decision not to run it again in 2014.
"I am grateful to those who took part over the years and hope they will understand. I would also like to thank the Isle of Wight Council for their support and making the venue available."
Although women who still wish to take part in Race for Life can travel to one of the larger events, in Southampton or Portsmouth, Newport resident and businessman Jamie Bray has offered to organise an alternative event in aid of Cancer Research UK.
Details have yet to be finalised, but the event would be at Sealcose Park and aimed at families.
Mr Bray, managing director of Southampton-based B7 Events and Promotions, said: "My team and I are very excited about taking on this event. We're all very driven to help raise awareness and money for Cancer Research UK.
"It could become an annual event on the island and I may take it further afield if this pilot is a success.
"The event will be different and will involve all the family with lots of different activities going on — an Island event, run by Islanders."
Bridgett Vane, Cancer Research UK’s fundraising manager for the Isle of Wight, said: "I welcome any fundraising idea from supporters and Jamie’s plans for his new event could not have come at a better time. I am keen to support any initiative which will allow our supporters to participate in events to raise money to help us beat cancer sooner."
Island schools can also hold their own Race for Life events, with the support of Cancer Research UK, by registering with the charity.