St Leonard’s Hospice receives donation from the Selby Trails

This story was published 15 January 2018

St Leonard’s Hospice has received a £500 donation thanks to a North Yorkshire County Council initiative, The Selby Trails.

John Warburton volunteering at the hospice shop

John Warburton, a dedicated volunteer at the hospice shop in Selby, selected St Leonard’s Hospice as his chosen cause after winning £500 after completing a survey about his lifestyle and wellbeing.

The hospice, based in York, provides vital care for people suffering from life-limiting illnesses, such as terminal cancer. It has a 20-bed inpatient service as well as offering home care and bereavement support for patients’ friends and family.

Helen Rook, Community Fundraiser at St Leonard’s Hospice, said: “The service we provide at St Leonard’s is growing every day, with double the number of people in our care in the past three months. It costs us approximately £5 million a year to care for our patients, so this kind donation from The Selby Trails is really appreciated.”

John began volunteering at the hospice shop on Park Street four years ago after a close friend died at St Leonard’s. John himself was told by doctors that he would not live past 70 unless he lost weight, so he began walking locally. Through regular exercise and a healthy diet, he managed to lose three and a half stone and now walks every day, including four miles into Selby to volunteer at the hospice shop.

He said: “I’ve now been walking around Selby for years and use the trail maps every day. I particularly enjoy the routes around Selby Canal and the Selby Horseshoe as I’ve found out so many things about my local area that I never knew.”

Selby Trails, Discoveries on your Doorstep, is a new project by the County Council. It encourages residents to get out and be active locally. The Selby Trails, along with the other strand of the campaign, based in Scarborough, offer a range of walking routes and activities. They aim to inspire residents to get out in the fresh air to walk, socialise and discover the fantastic nature, history and landscape on their doorstep.

County Councillor Don Mackenzie, Executive Member for Access, said: “The Trails help us to make the most of the area’s public rights of way to showcase the town’s natural assets. It’s an invitation to local people to get out of the house and into the outdoors, to walk, socialise and discover the nature, history and landscape on their doorstep.”

County Councillor Caroline Dickinson, Executive Member for Public Health, added: “The benefits of outdoor activities are widely recognised, with regular, gentle exercise being an effective way to improve both physical and mental health and wellbeing. However, it can often be difficult to find free and accessible walking routes with interesting landmarks along the way. The Selby Trails provide a solution, offering information on a range of free, fun and fascinating activities across Selby.”

Selby Trails Wellness Week runs from 15 to 21 January. Find out more at the Selby Trails Facebook page.