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Coronavirus Kent: Clifftop Challenge event cancelled in another set back for Breast Cancer Now

A fundraising event which usually raises more than £30,000 for Breast Cancer Now has been cancelled as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Organiser Chantele Rashbrook from Deal has announced the annual Clifftop Challenge, which sees athletes run across the coast from different starting points, will not go ahead as planned on June 20.

Chantele Rashbrook has cancelled her annual fundraiser, the Clifftop Challenge Picture: Tony Flashman
Chantele Rashbrook has cancelled her annual fundraiser, the Clifftop Challenge Picture: Tony Flashman

The mum-of-two who has direct experience with cancer, started the event in 2014 with last year's raising a record sum of £37,500 for research into breast cancer.

She had put off the decision until now knowing how vital every penny raised is for the charity.

But says in a message to runners, sponsors and supporters on her website, that it is the responsible action she and fellow organisers, husband Phil and dad Mike Griggs, must take.

The statement says: "With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to require us all to stay at home and maintain social distancing, and with no clear end in sight, it is with much regret that we have had to make the decision to cancel this year’s Clifftop Challenge.

"Given the circumstances we feel that this is the only responsible action we can take.

Runners can access a refund or donate their entry fee to Breast Cancer Now Picture: Tony Flashman
Runners can access a refund or donate their entry fee to Breast Cancer Now Picture: Tony Flashman

"We appreciate that many of you have invested in the event, either through entry fees or sponsorship, not to mention the miles and miles of training!

"We would like to thank you all for your continuing support and look forward to seeing you all back for Clifftop Challenge 2021."

Chief executive at Breast Cancer Now, Delyth Morgan, has responded to the setback.

She said: “The Clifftop Challenge has been raising money for Breast Cancer Now since 2014, and in that time has raised an incredible amount for our world-class research and life-changing support.

"We completely support the decision taken by Chantele and her team to cancel this year’s event in light of COVID-19, and we will do all we can to help as they work through the logistics of the cancellation, and plan for next year’s event. We know this will be a hugely disappointing time for the team, as well as for all those who had signed up to take part in June.

Chantele Rashbrook with daughter Lily, husband Phil and son Charlie, who help organise and support the event
Chantele Rashbrook with daughter Lily, husband Phil and son Charlie, who help organise and support the event

“With a large number of national fundraising events being cancelled, and many of the means our amazing supporters use to raise funds for us becoming impossible under the current social distancing guidelines, COVID-19 will have significant implications for our income. While we are taking steps to mitigate the impact as much as we can, the crisis could have a devastating impact on our work, both now and in the future.

“At what is such an uncertain and difficult time for everyone, we would like to say a big thank you to our supporters, including the Clifftop Challenge team, for their incredible generosity, encouragement, creativity and energy.

"Whether re-arranging their fundraising events, giving what they can to our emergency appeal, taking on a 2.6 challenge for Breast Cancer Now this April or volunteering for our Someone Like Me service, it is all making a big difference to our ability to continue our vital work for people affected by breast cancer.

"Breast Cancer Now’s nurses, scientists, and the hundreds of thousands of families affected by breast cancer urgently need this support, now more than ever.”

Runners who have paid an entry fee to take part can now request a refund, which will be minus £3 for an administrative online charge taken automatically at time of entry. Refunds can be made by bank transfer or cheque.

Runners in last year's Clifftop Challenge helped raise £37,500 for Breast Cancer Now Picture: Alan Langley
Runners in last year's Clifftop Challenge helped raise £37,500 for Breast Cancer Now Picture: Alan Langley

A second option is to carry the entry over to next year’s event, proposed for Saturday, June 19 2021 or thirdly, donate the fee to Breast Cancer Now.

Participants should email their preference to running@clifftopchallenge.com or calling Phil on 07970 413281 by July 31.

After this date any remaining entry fees will be treated as a donation and sent to Breast Cancer Now.

Sponsors can also request a refund, donation, or sponsorship carried over until 2021 by emailing Mike Griggs on info@clifftopchallenge.com

Read more: All the latest news from Deal


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