THE Bude support group for the charity, Animal Free Research UK, is celebrating another successful year of raising awareness and funds locally.

During 2017 the group supported research into both leukaemia and breast cancer by running stalls and a range of exciting events. The total raised was £6,856.15.

Steph Jones-Giles said: “I started the group in November 2015, and in the two years we have raised nearly £17,000 for research into brain tumours, heart disease, leukaemia and breast cancer. We have decided to continue with raising funds for breast cancer during 2018 because the charity has an important piece of research in this area we want to continue to fund.”

This research sees a partnership between Animal Free Research UK and Breast Cancer UK is changing the way that charities work together by combining their joint expertise and visions to fund a three-year animal free breast cancer research project.

Led by scientist Professor Valerie Speirs, from the University of Leeds, the study will help researchers to further understand the role played by potentially harmful chemicals and their impact on breast density. High breast density is a key risk factor for breast cancer.

The research will explore whether endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) have an impact on breast density. Many EDCs are synthetic and can be found in many every day items including plastics, personal care products, cosmetics, domestic cleaning products and food and drink.

This research will help to understand whether these chemicals have an impact on breast density and help to identify ways in which breast cancers can be prevented in the future.

No animals will be used in the research. Instead, human tissue samples from national and international breast tissue bio-banks will be used.

Lynn Ladbrook, chief executive of Breast Cancer UK, a charity that works to prevent breast cancer by tackling the environmental and chemical causes of the disease, said: “Over 55,000 people are diagnosed with breast cancer every year. One in eight women in the UK will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some stage in their lives.

“Understanding why we are becoming more vulnerable to this disease is imperative if we are to begin to reduce these numbers. This project could help us to better understand whether our environments are making the breast more vulnerable to breast cancer. Seeing people from across the country, many who have direct lived experience is fantastic. We are delighted to see so many people get behind our campaign.”

Emma Wrafter, development director at Animal Free Research UK, said: “We are two small charities with a huge vision. In 2016 alone, over four million animals were used in medical research. What many people don’t know is that much of the research is less effective when translated into humans and the animals are destroyed afterwards. In 2018, there has to be another way.”

Melissa Roberts undertook a sponsored 5km run in 2017 in memory of her partner, Lawrence, who sadly died of leukaemia.

She now hands over the baton to mother and son team Errin and Corren Netley. Errin is terrified of heights, so naturally she has signed up to do a skydive on September 2.

Corren is keeping his feet firmly on the ground and organising a car boot sale in the spring. He has roped his cousins, Leyawiin and Athea Saunders, in to help him and they are taking the task very seriously indeed.

New members are always welcome. Contact Steph on 07971 454214 to find out how to get involved.