HR chiefs to battle it out on River Wear to raise cash for cancer charities

Two heads of HR are set to do battle tomorrow (Saturday) in a charity dragon boat race on the River Wear.

Local authorities in the North East of England are bringing teams together to compete against each other and their private sector colleagues to raise money for children’s cancer charities.

Joanne Machers, Hartlepool Borough Council’s chief personnel officer, whose son Jonathan was diagnosed with leukaemia 18 months ago, is taking part in the fundraising event.

She said: “I’ve had reason to spend a lot of time at the children’s cancer ward. The work being done there is fantastic. While the NHS provides all the basic equipment, staff and drugs necessary, the unit relies heavily on charitable donations for the extras which make life tolerable for the children on the ward.

Peter Fanning, head of people and organisational development at South Tyneside Council, added: “We have used our contacts across the councils in the region to do something we believe is really worthwhile.”

The contest has been given extra spice because Fanning and Machers are partners.

About 1,200 children develop cancer in the UK each year. The survival rate for children with cancer is now 75%, compared to just 25% in 1970.

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