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M&S staff back Beefy

PUBLISHED: 16:30 23 April 2010 | UPDATED: 17:11 06 July 2010

STAFF at a Lowestoft store teamed up with a cricketing legend in a fund-raising bid to beat childhood leukaemia.

Marks and Spencer employees staged a two-day in-store walkathon, clocking up 25 miles in support of Sir Ian Botham's 25th anniversary walk last Friday and Saturday, as money was raised for his blood cancer charity, Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research.

STAFF at a Lowestoft store teamed up with a cricketing legend in a fund-raising bid to beat childhood leukaemia.

Marks and Spencer employees staged a two-day in-store walkathon, clocking up 25 miles in support of Sir Ian Botham's 25th anniversary walk last Friday and Saturday, as money was raised for his blood cancer charity, Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research.

And on Sunday, Liz Sharp - who works at the Lowestoft M&S branch -- joined the former England cricket captain turned Sky television commentator on the Chelmsford leg of his Beefy walk.

They were joined by another former England cricket captain as Andrew 'Freddie' Flintoff took part in the walk as he recovers from injury.

Mrs Sharp, a customer advisor in the food section, told The Journal that as a keen walker she was thrilled to get the opportunity to support Sir Ian. “It was wonderful to be asked,” she said.

And there was “lots of interest” last Friday and Saturday, as M&S staff hit their walkathon treadmill -kindly supplied by Bannatynes - to raise funds for Sir Ian's charity.

Operations manager at the M&S Lowestoft branch, Ellie Duffin, said: “With Liz taking part in the walk, we as a store also wanted to do something special to raise funds. So by wearing red t-shirts in support of this cause the team also took it in turns to walk on the treadmill - and everyone took a keen interest in it, which is great!”

The employees' efforts ensured that £722 was raised through sponsorship, all of which will go to the charity.

From April 10 to 19 Sir Ian walked over 150 miles through 10 towns over 10 days to raise money for leukaemia. And since starting his famous charity walk in 1985, the survival rate for the most common form of childhood leukaemia has increased from 20pc to 90pc.

Throughout April, M&S is also selling Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research pins for a £1 donation.

Sir Ian, who's president of the charity, said: “My walk in 2010 will be extra special for me as it marks 25 years since I did my first walk, and also the 50th birthday for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research.

“I never forget why I put myself through the pain and blisters. I'd like to thank the team at M&S for getting behind me. I won't stop until we beat childhood leukaemia, but I can't do it without your support."

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