SHOPS, businesses and residents will show their colours on Saturday as Witney turns pink to raise funds to fight breast cancer.

Witney in the Pink sees the town come together in aid of Abingdon-based charity Against Breast Cancer in an annual event now almost two decades old.

Organiser Jeanne Chattoe has helped raise around £500,000 in 24 years of fundraising against the disease, with last year's Witney in the Pink contributing another £6,000.

Ms Chattoe has endured a tough year, losing her mother to breast cancer and her Renaissance vintage clothes shop in Wesley Walk, and hopes this edition of the event can help make up for a nightmare few months.

She said: "Everything's gone pretty smoothly so far - that's famous last words.

"When it affects a family as much as it has mine you feel you have to do something.

"When I began fundraising people wouldn't say the words breast cancer but now they're prepared to say it.

"We've got some fantastic supporters and they do it for so many different reasons."

Ms Chattoe, who has beat breast cancer twice herself and lost her sister to the disease, saw her mother pass away over the summer.

Earlier in the year, she took the decision to close her popular store after a rise in tax rates meant she could not afford to finance it anymore.

This means the event's organiser has needed the support of Witney residents more than ever.

An empty unit that was formerly The Laughing Stock joke shop and the ICE Centre have both been employed to store props and equipment.

Ms Chattoe says 'eight or nine' volunteers will help her blow up 1000 balloons on Friday, including longstanding allies Sandy Bradshaw and Laura Hounam.

Witney town centre will be transformed on the day itself, with a cake stall, belly dancers and Witney Town Band among the attractions.

The event has become a huge operation for the organiser and her loyal group and every penny goes to Against Breast Cancer, where Ms Chattoe sits on the chair of trustees.

She got involved after meeting co-founder Dr Anthony Leathem, who collected money in central London while working as a pathologist at the Middlesex Hospital.

Ms Chattoe said: " My sister was very ill and I wanted to do something, so I felt quite involved with them.

"I read about this doctor who worked in London and collected money for breast cancer outside the tube every day after work.

"I thought someone like that needs my support."

Witney in the Pink can equally count on the assistance of several businesses, including The Shake Shop, also in the Market Square.

The store is hosting a pink pop-up zoo on Saturday after customers were asked to bring in their unusual pets, featuring a tarantula, quail, axolotl fish and many more.

Three dogs, ponies Harry and Goldie and even Geoffrey the Giraffe will also make an appearance and co-owner Debbie Hackett paid tribute to the town's community spirit.

She said: "Jeanne is amazing - she puts a lot in and everyone has pulled together."