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Ilkley resident sponsors Sue Ryder Nurse preparing to ‘Zip the Cow’

Chief Nursing Officer Jane Turner will Zip the Cow

Next month hundreds of daredevils will take to the sky for Sue Ryder’s Zip the Cow – and 83-year-old David has shared why he is supporting the popular event after his wife was cared for at Manorlands hospice.


David, from Ilkley, took part in the event in 2022, which sees thrill seekers walk up to the top of the iconic ‘cow’ at the Cow and Calf Rocks above Ilkley, before whizzing 270m down Ilkley Moor at speeds of up to 35mph. This year, he is sponsoring a member of staff to complete the challenge so he can continue to support the hospice after his wife Jean spent her finals days there in 2023.


David said: “When I ‘zipped the cow’ in 2022 I did it because I am a bit of an adrenaline junkie and have done many things not suitable for my age.


“Little did I know at the time how important Sue Ryder Manorlands Hospice would be in our family’s life. On 25 April last year, my beloved wife, Jean, suffering with terminal cancer opted to spend her last few days in the care of Sue Ryder Manorlands Hospice.


“She passed away on 4 May. During her stay, we were all so grateful for the care that she received from all the staff. Whilst I was reluctant for Jean to go to the hospice, I was totally wrong in trying to persuade Jean to remain at home. My family and I now realise that we could not have given her the care she needed, and the team at the hospice couldn’t have been more lovely, kind and respectful.


“In July last year, my younger daughter, Joanna, decided to Zip the Cow in memory of her mother and to show our support and gratitude to the staff at Sue Ryder Manorlands Hospice. She did this although she has a real fear of heights! 


“In total our family and friends raised an incredible £3,800 for the hospice which we were so pleased to be able to do.


“Unfortunately, I can’t take part in Zip the Cow this year, however I know lots of members of staff at the hospice are taking part so have decided to sponsor Chief Nursing Officer Jane Turner. We are so grateful for all of their care and support, they were just as kind to me as they were to Jean and this is the least we can do.”


With this year’s donation, David and his family have raised almost £5,000 for Sue Ryder Manorlands Hospice over the past few years.


Speaking about the support she is receiving for taking part this year, Jane said: “I feel very grateful that David and his family have kindly sponsored me for Zip the Cow. I want to say a huge personal thank you to David and his family for their ongoing support for Sue Ryder Manorlands Hospice.


“I am nervous but excited to complete the Zip the Cow. It so important that we raise money to enable us at Sue Ryder to provide the excellent high quality care to all our patients and families.”


Jane Turner will also be joined by Kirsten Stevens, Sue Ryder’s Chief Finance Officer and Martin Wildsmith, Sue Ryder’s Chief Commercial Officer on 20 and 21 July 2024.

Entry to this year’s Zip the Cow is £27.50 with a minimum fundraising target of £50, which will make all the difference to patients and families needing Sue Ryder’s expert care. For more information and to sign up, visit:


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