A GROUP of 12 friends have raised more than £1,000 for Cancer Research by giving up alcohol in support of a friend.

The women, who all live in Darwen, have joined the Dryathlon charity push to raise charity cash, while also improving their health.

A friend of the group had been diagnosed with cervical cancer but was recently told a secondary cancer had developed.

So far, £1,002 has been raised by the ‘Dryathletes’, none of whom have fallen off the wagon in their bid to abstain for a month.

Vicky Hogan, 27, of Gadfield Street, is one of the group taking part in the event, and said it had been difficult for the girls, who all enjoy a drink at the end of a hard week at work.

She said: “I am finding it difficult. I am all right during the week but at weekends it is tough.

“But we have still been going out and going to family functions such as christenings and things, but I have been drinking soda water.

“We have all managed to stay strong so far and we are supporting each other.

“It has certainly helped me save some money, although I have found I am eating a lot of chocolate to make up for it.

“We have arranged to all go out on February 1 when the Dryathlon comes to an end.”

Vicky, a primary school teacher, said people didn’t realise how difficult it was to give up drink for a month.

She said: “We have had some criticisms from people who say we aren’t doing anything hard.

“But I have done charity events such as races before and, although they are tough, it is just one day.

“This is an entire month and it is the hardest thing I have done for charity.”