MORE than £1,900 has been raised at a special dinner in Thornbury by women supporting the fight against cancer.

The “ladies night” on Wednesday, which featured a five-course dinner at Ronnie’s of Thornbury, was organised by friends Emma Aiken-Jones and Katie Shipway as part of their fundraising efforts ahead of a gruelling all-women 240 mile bike ride from London to Paris.

More than 30 women from around Thornbury were in attendance for the fundraiser for the “Women V Cancer” campaign, which supports women with breast cancer, ovarian cancer and cervical cancer.

“The evening had such a nice feel to it,” said Emma. “It was wonderful to see so many like-minded women come to support such an important issue.

“As the cause is for the Women v Cancer charity, and the bike ride is all women, we thought it would be nice to just have a ladies’ night, getting everyone together to celebrate that.

An incredible £1,250 was donated to the evening by the restaurant’s owner Ronnie Faulkner from the profits made on the night, with the rest of the £1,900 total coming from a very successful raffle.

“I’m absolutely thrilled to be associated with a brave group of women facing a challenging health issue head on,” said Ronnie. “The sense of community on the night was quite moving.”

Emma added: “This cause means a lot to the both of us, Katie has survived breast cancer and I have friends and family who have had to endure breast and ovarian cancer, so it is very close to our hearts.

“A huge thank you goes to Ronnie and the team for the night and the amazing generosity to be willing to take on the event.”

Emma and Katie said that, now they have had the chance to get dressed up, the serious training starts now, ahead of reaching the start line in October

The race, which is hosted by the Women V Cancer campaign, will see them join hundreds of other female cyclists to cover the 240 mile route in only three days.

Both have some miles under their belt, having completed a number of duathlon races in the past, but as they said the races are normally only around 10 miles, they said the new challenge will be unlike anything they have ever done before.

To support Emma and Katie in their fundraising mission, visit their JustGiving pages and