A North Devon woman who is living with cancer has raised more than £10,000 for charity thanks to her friends and family.

Sponsored walkers raising money for the ICR during Anne's 30 Day Challenge.Sponsored walkers raising money for the ICR during Anne's 30 Day Challenge.

Anne Vanstone from Horwood near Barnstaple was the inspiration for Anne's 30 Day Challenge to raise money for The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR).

At the end of 2019 Anne and the group held a series of events ranging from taking part in a half marathon on Exmoor to coffee mornings, big breakfasts, quizzes, cake sales and sponsored walks.

They hoped to raise £5,000 but ended up raising £10,644 and counting.

The 71-year-old, who still works part time supporting young adults with complex needs, was diagnosed with breast cancer after becoming ill in 2018.

Anne Vanstone with her daughter Fiona Nicholls at a coffee and clothes event.Anne Vanstone with her daughter Fiona Nicholls at a coffee and clothes event.

It had metastasised to other parts of her body and there is no cure but it is being kept under control by the drug Palbociclib, which only became available on the NHS shortly before her diagnosis.

She said: "I am doing really good. My cancer is metastatic and there is no cure, but only in the last week or so my oncologist said that I am stable and in 'clinical remission'.

"That's why I chose ICR, because I think the research is the way forward and treatments have changed drastically. I am not blessed to have this cancer but I am to have this medication and also blessed to have the Seamoor Unit and the staff who look after me."

During the 30 Day Challenge, Anne took part in the first event and the last, a High Tea and Auction of Promises at Lovacott Village Hall which raised £3,329.

Anne Vanstone's friends helping to raise money at a quiz night.Anne Vanstone's friends helping to raise money at a quiz night.

The event was supported by local estate agents Stags and local businesses donated an array of lots for the auction.

She added: "We were determined to raise all we could to fund vital work being carried out by its scientists.

"So many local people and businesses supported our fundraising and I can't thank them enough."

Heather Lacey, supporter events manager at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, said: "We're so grateful that Anne chose to fund raise for us.

The High Tea and Auction which raised more than £3,000 as part of Anne's 30 Day ChallengeThe High Tea and Auction which raised more than £3,000 as part of Anne's 30 Day Challenge

"Our world-leading cancer research relies on the generosity and dedication of our supporters - and people like Anne play a vital role in helping us make the discoveries that defeat cancer.

"On behalf of everyone at the ICR, I want to say a massive thank you and well done to Anne, and to all her family and friends who helped her smash her fundraising target."

If you wish you can still donate at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/annes30daychallenge .

Sophie Muddimer taking part in the Exmoor Trail Challenge half marathon as part of Anne's 30 Day Challenge.Sophie Muddimer taking part in the Exmoor Trail Challenge half marathon as part of Anne's 30 Day Challenge.