THEY have ditched their leather jackets and parkers and picked up tutus in the fight against cancer.

A group of Southampton scooter enthusiasts have revved up and are encouraging people across Hampshire to follow their lead and help raise cash for Stand Up To Cancer.

Angie Ayres and her Mod friends – nicknamed locally as the Southampton Meerkats, know only too well the devastation cancer can cause.

It was two years ago when Vespa-rider Angie, 54, was told she had breast cancer.

At the time, she had just lost her beloved father George to the same disease and had moved back to Southampton from Cardiff to look after her mum.

Angie underwent two rounds of surgery, the first to remove a lump and then a second operation after surgeons discovered more cancer cells and removed her lymph nodes.

Angie said: “From the day I was diagnosed to going into theatre it was all so quick, I didn’t have the time to process things – I just got on with it.

“My first thought was ‘what’s the plan of action?’

“Some people go into the depths of despair but because of my dad, I got angry. I decided cancer wasn’t going to get me.”

Angie, who now works for Mencap in Portswood, says she has been supported by partner Phil, 52, who she met at a scooter rally when she moved back to Southampton.

In May 2015, Angie started chemotherapy and seven months later, had her last radiotherapy session on Christmas Eve.

She said: “My whole life has changed because of cancer. That’s why my friends and I are showing our support to Stand Up To Cancer and pulling on the crazy orange wigs and tutus.

“It’s a fun and easy way to get involved and help raise money to save more lives.”

Stand Up To Cancer is a joint fundraising campaign from Cancer Research UK and Channel 4, which aims to get new pioneering tests and treatments to cancer patients, faster.

Jenny Makin, Cancer Research UK spokesperson for Hampshire said: “We’d like to thank Angie and the Southampton Meerkats for their colourful support and getting into the spirit of Stand Up To Cancer.

“We’re asking men, women and children from across the county to wear orange, pay up and take cancer out.

“By supporting up, they’ll be helping to raise money and transform the lives of cancer patients and their families.”

Since the launch in the UK five years ago, Stand Up To Cancer has raised more than £38 million for over 40 clinical trials and research projects.