A WEST Devon pilates and Nordic walker instructor has raised nearly £25,000 for the Teenage Cancer Trust, after supporting the charity for ten years.
Ruth Harris, from Yelverton, has organised a weekly walk raising funds for the charity for several years and has also taken part in sponsored walks and treks. During this time she has raised £24,666 to help support young people with cancer.
As a former organiser of the Annual Dartmoor Walk, Ruth has organised numerous walks for the charity, as well as taking part in six UK treks. She still meets with supporters and friends for her weekly Friday morning walks on Dartmoor come rain or shine.
Ruth said: ‘On top of raising funds, I have really enjoyed raising awareness for Teenage Cancer Trust, which was not a very well-known charity in my local community when I first started fundraising. I have some fantastic supporters and I am so grateful for all their help; I couldn’t have done it without them! We still continue to do our morning walks, whatever the weather, but even when we do get wet we remember what we’re doing it for.’
Ruth first got involved in 2004 after wanting to do something ‘unselfish’ with some money that was left to her after her brother died. She used the money to fund her to go on a trek organised by the Teenage Cancer Trust and liked it so much she decided she wanted to do more. She invited her pilates clients to join her on a weekly walk and pay a nominal donation, which is given to the charity.
Ruth said she has not kept count of how much she had raised over the years until the charity got in touch to tell her.
‘I was shocked,’ she said. ‘I keep a count of how much I raise in a year for my books, but I hadn’t kept count of how much I had raised altogether — I was quite surprised!’
A spokesperson for the Teenage Cancer Trust’s regional South West fundraising team said: ‘We’ve been so impressed with Ruth’s incredible efforts and continuous support. In the last ten years we have opened two units in Bristol and are now working with designated hospitals to reach more young people with cancer and Ruth has been through it all with us.
‘She has made a huge difference to the lives of so many young people with cancer and we would like to thank her for all the time and effort she has put in to raising the money.’