Sunday’s annual Christodoula march, organised by British Bases Police and attended by the First Lady of the Republic, raised €15000 for the Cyprus Anti-Cancer Association.
Now in its 18th year, the charity march was the first time Philippa Karsera had visited the Bases since becoming First Lady and saw over 500 people participating.
The First Lady said: “It is with particular joy and emotion that I am here with you at this event, this year, as part of the forty-eighth Christodoula march, which has now become an institution and has been embraced by Cypriot society.
“I would like to congratulate, apart from the Cyprus Anti-Cancer Association, the SBA Police at Akrotiri Division for the organisation of this march, along with the Community of Erimi, the Mayor and the Municipal Council of Ypsonas.
“Dear friends, your participation in this event sends a message that no one is alone in this battle.
“‘Be there’ is the motto of this year’s march, and I want to assure you that my husband and I will always be by your side, as the matters of health and social welfare are high priorities of the government of President Nikos Christodoulides”.
Thanking community leaders from across the Bases and the Republic of Cyprus who took part, Chief Officer of the Sovereign Base Areas Clare Simpson expressed her delight at seeing so much support.
“This is a fantastic event in aid of a very worthy cause, which I am delighted to take part in.
“To see so many people here is heartening and is a testament to the close community links throughout the Bases.
“I would like to thank the First Lady of the Republic of Cyprus, the SBA Police and all our communities for working so hard to ensure this event was a success.”
The SBA Police liaised with local and service Communities to organise the march, commemorating the 15-20km journey made by cancer sufferer Christodoula, who in 1974 left her home in Famagusta as a refugee and walked to Sotira where she died of her illness.
SBA Police Chief Constable Chris Eyre said: “We are honoured to co-organise the annual Christodoula marches in the SBAs with our community councils.
“Once again, we will be inspired by Christodoula’s courageous journey in 1974 and march together to raise money for those suffering from cancer in 2023.”
Maria Michael from the Cyprus Anti-Cancer Association added: “It is our honour and pleasure that for the 18th year, the SBA Police, in collaboration with the community of Erimi and the Municipality of Ypsonas, has taken the initiative to organise the march.
“Their huge effort is to raise money to strengthen the supportive and palliative care services our association has been offering for free for over 50 years.
“The support we receive from all those involved in this event is very important for our charity work”.
The SBA Police will collect further donations until the end of the month.