A group of six friends from Rhyl have been putting themselves through their paces to raise funds and awareness for a charity close to their hearts.

Owen Hughes and five friends will be putting their fitness to the test in a 24-hour National Three Peaks Challenge on Wednesday, August 4 to raise money for Young Lives vs Cancer, the UK’s leading cancer charity for children and young people.

The group’s effort was inspired by their friend, Steven Jones, who was diagnosed with cancer at just 18 years old.

Following his diagnosis in August 2020, Steven and his family received financial and emotional support from a Young Lives vs Cancer social worker.

Steven sadly passed away in June.

Rhyl Journal: Steven Jones, who recently passed away from cancer at the age of only 19Steven Jones, who recently passed away from cancer at the age of only 19

Cameron, 19, said: “The battle that Steven endured has really inspired myself and the others involved to push ourselves in our own way to raise money for the amazing people who helped Steven, especially in the latter months of his battle.

“Steven was somebody who inspired me every day, and was certainly a person who pushed everyone around them to better themselves, and I know that this would be something he would be entirely encouraging of.

“So far we have raised over £1,500 through JustGiving and received funds from Rhyl Hearts Junior Football Club to cover the cost of transport, but want to continue to raise money for this charity as cancer is something which has the ability to turn anyone’s life upside down.

“I would really appreciate it if the community of Rhyl, Prestatyn and other surrounding areas could do their absolute best to donate whatever they can, no matter how small”.

Last year in North Wales, Young Lives vs Cancer helped 230 families find the strength to face cancer.

They gave out more than 100 financial grants totalling in excess of £22,000 to help families cope with the costs of cancer.

The Cancer Costs report from the charity found that families with a child on active treatment spend an extra £600 a month – often when parents are unable to work, too.

Sophie Meadows, Young Lives vs Cancer fundraising engagement manager for North Wales, said: “When cancer strikes young lives, we step in to help families find the strength to face cancer.

“We rely entirely on voluntary donations to fund our vital work, so we can’t thank Owen and the lads enough for their fantastic efforts.

“It’s heart-breaking that Steven can’t be here to see them smash their challenge, but such an amazing thing that they are doing in his memory.

“This big challenge Owen and the group are taking on, and the money they raise, will make a massive difference for young people with cancer by helping us ensure they are getting the right support they need.

“Huge thank you to Owen, Cam, Lewi, Dylan, Sam and Max – good luck!”

To sponsor Owen and the group for their National Three Peaks challenge, go to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/owen-hughes9.

For more information about Young Lives vs Cancer’s work, go to www.younglivesvscancer.org.uk.