ICE cream lovers can help break a Guinness World Record and raise awareness of cancer – all in one big charity event.

Organisers of Southend Relay For Life and Rossi Ice Cream bosses have teamed up in a bid to break the record for the longest chain of people licking an ice cream.

The record, which currently stands at 2,728 people, was achieved in Northern Ireland.

But its hoped this will be smashed at the Cancer Research Relay for Life event, in Garon Park, Southend, later this month.

Relay team members, Kieran Meikle, Jayne Meikle, Nicola Hamilton and cancer survivor Leslie Fossett visited the Rossi Ice Cream factory yesterday, to promote the record attempt, alongside Rossi’s director Colin Gray.

Mrs Fossett, 59, from Thorpe Bay, survived a diagnosis of breast cancer in 2008 and is now helping to care for her 85-year-old mother, who has bowel cancer.

She said: “What the future holds, who knows? But I know cancer can be beaten if we just keep on fighting against it and raising enough money to help keep up with future cures. That's why I take part in Southend Relay for Life and I invite other survivors to join and be guests of honour at the event.”

Relay For Life is Cancer Research UK’s overnight family event, which is held at the park, in Eastern Avenue, on Saturday, July 26.

Kieran Meikle, Cancer Research UK’s local event chairman for Southend, said: “We are absolutely delighted we are able to raise awareness of Relay and Cancer Research UK in such a unique and exciting way.

“Southend Relay for Life worked incredibly hard to raise an astonishing £30,000 in 2013 and are hoping to beat that in 2014.

But we can only do that with the support of the public and with new teams signing up and more individuals and local businesses getting involved and donating.

“Cancer Research UK has made enormous progress in the fight against cancer and continues to do so. However, we have only been able to do this thanks to the dedication and commitment of our volunteers and supporters at Southend Relay, without whom we would not be able to fund our vital research.”

Mr Gray said: “We are aiming to have in excess of 3,000 people join with us to enjoy a free Rossi ice cream and help us beat the existing record. I’m sure, with the help of the people of the Southend area, we can beat this Guinness World Record while supporting a local event, but we do need help to bring this record to Southend.”

Mr Gray is hoping other businesses will rally to the cause, as he plans to get 7,000 A5 leaflets printed, as well as wristbands and spiral hats for people taking part. Participants need to register for the event at rossirecordbreaker.