HEALTH care assistant Sarah Burke has raised more than £3,500 after skipping to a challenge set by a cancer charity.

“Sarah, who works at Carmel Medical Practice, within Darlington Primary Care Network, did 100 skips every day for a month to raise the money for Teesdale Cancer Research”.

The mum-of-two and new grandma, who lives in Gainford, accepted the challenge because close members of her family, including husband Rory, are suffering from cancer. Both Sarah and Rory’s mothers also died of the disease.

Sarah said: “I saw the challenge pop up on Facebook one day and I thought ‘I can do that’. Too many people close to me have suffered from cancer, so I wanted to play my part in helping raise money for research.

“When I first set out, I thought I might raise £100 but I’ve been overwhelmed by the support and kindness so many people have shown.”

Sarah has had a 25-year career as a health care assistant, including 16 years at Carmel Medical Practice.

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Her fundraising target was boosted when she went to see Zoe Lyons, at The Witham, in Barnard Castle, and the popular comedian posed for a picture and voiced her support for the appeal.

Sarah also staged a successful fundraising evening at the Lord Nelson pub in Gainford, with a friend making cupcakes to sell, along with a raffle and auction. The prize of a box at a Mowden Park Rugby Club match attracted a successful bid from as far afield as the Cayman Islands.

Supporters joined in that day’s 100 skips outside the pub, and Sarah also skipped with colleagues in the car park at the medical practice in Darlington.