‘I’ve seen so many affected by cancer. You just feel useless’

TAKING PART Chris Bairstow from Gosport, running around the track with his daughter Eve Bairstow at last year's Relay for Life in Portsmouth
TAKING PART Chris Bairstow from Gosport, running around the track with his daughter Eve Bairstow at last year's Relay for Life in Portsmouth
Picture: Shutterstock

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I’ve been in business for 19 years, and I’ve seen so many affected by cancer, and you just feel useless.

Relaying gives you a sense of fighting back.

We can’t all be scientists, and this is one of many ways to help.

You can get involved with relaying by searching for Cancer Research Relay UK, and then searching for a nearby event in your area.

‘This year we have our own website, portsmouthrelayforlife.com, and you can find lots of information on there.

Or people can come to my shop, Shoefix, in High Street, Cosham, and I’d happy to point them in the right direction. The more people involved the better.

When you don’t do it it’s difficult to understand.

It’s a real community event.

Celebrate, remember, fight back – that’s the motto.

The relay part puts people off. It’s a walking event – not a race.

It’s not athletic at all, and you can go round with your friends, work colleagues, people you’ve never met.

It’s a real community thing. It’s open to everyone.

The first lap is always done by the survivors.

The event takes place from July 13 to 14.

Teammates take it in turns to make their way around a 400m track.

In between their efforts they sleep in tents which they put up on the field.

The event, which supports Cancer Research UK, is organised by volunteers and last year it raised £65,000 towards the charity’s efforts.

A highlight of the event is a Candle of Hope ceremony.

Participants light candles in memory of loved ones that have passed away and pictures of them are put on display.