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Ilkley team complete Mighty Hike in aid of Macmillan

A team of hikers from Ilkley based Talk Straight walked 13 miles across the tricky terrain of the Yorkshire Dales on Sunday, in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support.

Alex Sykes, Lee Moores, Rachel Glover, Charlotte Thompson, Sallie Bewell and Sophie Bodenham took to the hills in a bid to raise £4,250, the amount equivalent to the funding of the role of Speech and Language Therapist Jessica Wakeling, based at Airedale Hospital, for one whole month.

Sallie Bewell, Talk Straight’s People Manager, said: “We are all really excited to help fund the wonderful work of Jessica Wakeling – who is invaluable in helping those who have been diagnosed with head and neck cancer to prepare for life-changing surgery and also provide practical emotional support around changes or loss of their speech.”

Speech and Language Therapy work closely with the Macmillan Cancer Nurse Specialists and Dietitians to support individuals prior to, during and after cancer treatment such as surgery or chemoradiotherapy. In addition to communication difficulties patients can often have swallowing difficulties due to their treatment. Often patients use feeding tubes to support their nutrition. Speech and Language Therapy assess their swallowing and provide support and rehabilitation exercises to help patients to swallow to the best of their ability.

Jessica said: “It means so much to me that the team have not only chosen to support Macmillan but have particularly chosen to support our head and neck cancer patients. By raising these funds, they will be providing many people with the support that they may need to get back to eating and drinking again or to come to terms with a new way of life. The impact that this will make to many patients is huge. I cannot thank them enough.”

Macmillan Cancer Support’s Fundraising Manager, Becci Shanks, added: “We are so thrilled with everybody at Talk Straight to have been chosen as their nominated charity. What’s more, their determination and enthusiasm to fundraise despite the many obstacles and delays brought about because of restrictions relating to the pandemic is really humbling. Their target to fund a whole month of Macmillan nursing will make a huge difference in the local community to those living with cancer.”

It’s not too late to support this worthy cause, please visit to donate.


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