A man from Ilkley has raised over £5,000 for a local hospice after pulling on his walking shoes to complete the full length of the Dales Way in just three days.
Kicking off his 81-mile sponsored walk in Bowness-on-Windermere, James Hall trekked 31 miles to Dent on the first day, 34 miles onwards to Grassington on day two, before reaching the finishing line in his hometown of Ilkley on the final day.
James chose to take on the challenge to raise funds for Sue Ryder Manorlands Hospice in Oxenhope, which provided expert palliative care to his grandad before he passed away from cancer. He also wanted to support a charity which cares for people living with a terminal cancer diagnosis, after it has affected other close family members.
“Growing up I lost both my grandad and grandma to cancer,” shares James. “Then 14 years ago my dad discovered a sarcoma on his leg. With treatment we thought he'd won the fight against it. However, in March 2020, on the eve of the COVID-19 lockdown, we got the devastating news that the sarcoma had returned in dad's lungs and bones.
“Watching dad fight this illness again, especially during the challenges of the pandemic, inspired me to do something for charity. So a small group of friends stepped forward to accompany me along the Dales Way.”
As well as being supported by friends, the challenge was also a special family affair as James’ dad and grandma were able to join him for parts of the walk.
“I chose the Dales Way because it was a tough challenge to do in three days and people could join me on along the way, including my dad for the last 12 miles from Appletreewick, and my grandma for the last 400 yards.
"Sue Ryder Manorlands Hospice is very close to my heart and is a great cause for helping people with cancer. I can't thank people enough for their donations and company on the walk and to break £5,000 is unbelievable."
James presented a cheque for £5,001 to Adam Brunskill, Community Fundraiser at Sue Ryder Manorlands Hospice last month, alongside his dad.
Adam said: “This was an incredible fundraising challenge and we’re so grateful for James for choosing to support our hospice. The money raised will help us continue to provide the specialist and compassionate palliative care we are so well-known for in the local community, and help fill last days with love.”
To find out more about Sue Ryder Manorlands Hospice, and ways you can support them, visit: sueryder.org/manorlands