A family who lost their daughter to cancer are launching PINKtober in the Dales to raise money and awareness of the disease.

June Ashton has been raising funds for Cancer Research UK (CR UK) for years in memory of her daughter Helen, who died aged 13. June and her family started the Helen Ashton Appeal because they didn’t want cancer to happen to other families.

Helen was posthumously awarded Cancer Research Young Volunteer of the Year in 2003 along with her younger sisters, and her legacy has continued.

Darlington and Stockton Times: Pinktober in the Dales is being run by the family of Helen Ashton who died from cancer when she was

This year with the support of the community, June has decided to turn Reeth pink. Local businesses and craft groups have supported her to make this happen and are raising awareness of Cancer Research UK’s life-saving research.

In particular, PINKtober will raise funds for CR UK’s Breast Cancer Research and the importance of spotting the signs of breast cancer early.

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PINKtober in the Dales launches on Saturday, September 30, with a Pink Cream Tea at St Andrew’s Church in Grinton from 4pm (entry £10), where guests can treat themselves to a homemade cream tea as well as enjoying a performance from the Lakes Gospel Choir.

A Pink Walk organised by Helen and Dave at the Black Bull at 3pm on Sunday will kick off activities throughout October with a bang. Reeth Brass Band will accompany participants as they walk down to Grinton and back.

The Black Bull has a full programme throughout the month alongside Shaun and Stacey at the Buck Hotel.

PINKtober in the Dales will culminate with Helen’s Hearts of Hope Candle Ceremony in Reeth Community Orchard, supported by Marske Choir, on October 29 at 6pm.

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June said: “One in two of us will get cancer in our lifetime. But all of us can support the research that will beat it. I am absolutely delighted with the response from this local community to my idea of PINKtober and look forward to us all coming together to make a difference. Hopefully there is something for everyone. Please contact me on pinktoberinthedales@gmail.com for further information, tickets or if you would like to donate a raffle prize or just get involved.”

CR UK fundraising spokesperson for the Dales, Jan Leafe added: “We are incredibly grateful to June and her supporters for their time and energy. In particular helping to raise awareness of the work, progress and aims of Cancer Research UK, both locally and nationally. “We know that early diagnosis saves lives. When breast cancer is spotted at an early stage, treatment is more likely to be successful. Events such as PINKtober help us to get the message across, if you do spot something unusual, take charge and speak to your GP.”