A FUNDRAISING group is urgently appealing for new members.

The Pickering committee of Yorkshire Cancer Research was set up in November 1979and to date has raised £292,477 directly, with a further £553,143 received in legacy income.

The Pickering committee consists of just five people, supported by a team of helpers and collectors, and in recent years by members of the Ryedale Lions.

However, following the retirement of Ken Chadwick, who was chairman for 17 years, new members are being urged to come forward.

Acting chairman Barry Howard said: “We are very short of members at the moment due to ill health and are also desperately short of volunteers to help us with our house-to- house collection in March.

“We would love to hear from people who have been personally affected by cancer, either themselves or a relative or colleague, and would like to make a contribution by helping us raise vital funds.”

Yorkshire Cancer Research was founded in 1925 for the benefit of Yorkshire people.

It is one of the largest independent regional cancer charity in England and is committed to fund research and support initiatives that will help Yorkshire people avoid, survive and cope with cancer.

Mr Howard said the Pickering committee currently covered just the town itself and surrounding villages but plans for the next few years include an expansion into Kirkbymoorside.

“Thanks to the generosity of the residents, the annual house-to-house collection in March 2017 raised a record £7,515, but it could have been so much more had there been more collectors,” he said.

“We also have support from other events and held our first-ever Santa Fun Run was held at Dalby Forest in December raising £2,911.

“Individual support has included Bridget and Grace Clark, from Pickering, who did the Yorkshire Three Peaks in 2016 and climbed Ben Nevis last year raising a total of £5,050.”

Anyone who would like more information should phone Barry Howard on 01751 475760.