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Amateur rider Nicki Strong from Charlton, nr Andover, has been selected to take part in the largest charity race day in the British racing calendar, raising vital funds for Macmillan Cancer Support.

The 29 year old will be tackling a nine furlong flat race at York racecourse on 14 June 2014. The event forms part of the prestigious annual Macmillan race day, which is the charity’s biggest single fundraising event. In fourty-three years, the race day has accounted for £5.5m in funds raised for people living with cancer.

Nicki owns two ex-racehorses herself, and has racing in her blood. She explains; “I’ve been a racing fan for years, something I inherited from my Dad, and used to spend lots of time at race meetings chasing jockey’s asking for their autographs!  Frankie Detorri was my hero growing up…now to have a chance to get in the saddle and ride on the turf myself is just the chance of a lifetime.”

Nicki actually works as a regional communications and PR officer for Macmillan, and thought it was an ideal way to combine two things she is passionate about.

She said; “I’ve worked for Macmillan for five years now, and taken part in various fundraising events from the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning to the Great South Run. When this opportunity came up it seemed perfect for me, so I applied to York races and was very fortunate to be selected from a very competitive field of applicants – it really is a once in a lifetime experience.

“Cancer affects us all; most of us work at Macmillan because the cause is close to our heart so we’re all keen to help where we can, and I’m no different. My nephew had a brain tumour which he was very lucky to survive, I lost my Grandad to cancer, and I also have several friends who have successfully come through cancer treatment. Working closely with Macmillan services, every day I see first-hand how important they are to people coping with a cancer diagnosis and their families, and I know that this couldn’t happen without the people who continue to raise money. I think we can all do something to help.”

Each of the 12 jockeys are tasked with raising a minimum amount of £2,000, but Nicki would ideally like to aim for more.

Now she is calling upon Andover businesses to help her reach the target; “It’s a huge amount to raise from individual donations alone, so I’m looking to speak to local businesses who might be able to offer corporate sponsorship – I’ve worked up some great proposals and packages that should see sponsors well rewarded for their support. It’s a great marketing opportunity as the race is shown live on national television, and in front of a crowd of around 28,000 people on the day – but importantly your support will go towards reaching the 2 million people living and beyond cancer in the UK.

If you think you can help Nicki with corporate sponsorship, please contact her directly on 07801 307066 to discuss the packages available, or to donate please visit www. justgiving.com/NickiStrong.

Macmillan wants to be there for everyone living with cancer, and relies on public donations for 98% of its income. The charity can only continue to provide vital services and support for people affected by cancer and their families because of the generosity of those who fundraise on their behalf.

Anyone with questions about cancer can ask Macmillan on 0808 808 00 00, or find information and support online at macmillan.org.uk.

Polly has almost 20 years in the media industry. As Editor of Andover and Villages, she strives to bring the latest and greatest news with a minutes notice. Polly can be contacted via editor@andoverandvillages.co.uk or alternatively called at