Residents at Rotorua's youth justice facility have hit the track for a 24-hour relay to raise money for the Cancer Society.

The group of young people, staff and supporters at Te Maioha o Parekarangi Youth Justice Residence ran around the grounds as part of the Cancer Society's annual Relay For Life.

All of the 27 people in the residence took part in the event last week.

Residence manager Tasi Tuhana said it was a special event for the young people, with one father travelling from the South Island to support his son at the relay.


"It was wonderful, the young people really got into it," she said.

"They learned a lot about empathy and giving back to the community."

An opening ceremony was held as part of the event and a cancer survivor spoke to the group.

The residents were then split into three groups, one for each unit, with groups doing three-hour shifts while the others rested.

There was also a candle ceremony in memory of whanau and friends who had died of cancer.

More than 60 staff also took part in the relay, with one staff member raising $2700. Some whanau and friends of the young people and staff also chipped in donations for the cause.

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Waikato/Bay of Plenty Cancer Society fundraising manager Catriona Findlay said she was impressed with the eye-catching banners the units had created, as well as the "dress-ups" and team spirit.

"We are so grateful to everyone at Te Maioha involved in the relay.

"Staff were there in the masses and put a lot of energy into organising the event, and the young people seemed to fully embrace the concept of doing something wonderful and selfless for people in the community who need our help."

Te Maioha o Parekarangi hopes to raise about $5000 for the Cancer Society, which receives no direct government funding so relies wholly on fundraising, donations, sponsorship and bequests to operate.

All funds raised from Relay For Life stay in the Waikato/Bay of Plenty region and help the Cancer Society to provide supportive care for people with all types of cancer, fund vital cancer research and deliver cancer education and advocacy.