Local people have been coming together in the last month to take part in walking challenges organised by Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust’s official charity Better Lives to raise money to support local NHS patients and staff.

Care Trust staff with cake and collection bucket on Mental Health Day walk

The first of the two challenges was completed by 22 walkers, who climbed the three highest peaks in the Yorkshire Dales national park in just one day. It took the whole group 13 hours to complete the 24.5 miles and they have raised nearly £3,500 so far, with the total still rising.

Among the walkers were Care Trust staff, their friends and family, as well as employees from local construction company P.E.C, who are the charity’s official sponsors. P.E.C employee Steve Fowler was the first to finish the walk in only 8 hours and 48 minutes. The last of the team finally completed the gruelling challenge in pitch darkness after 13 hours of walking.

Following this, the charity organised a second walk along the Skipton-Saltaire canal to mark World Mental Health Day and raise awareness of the importance of mental wellbeing. Together, 21 walkers, along with one pushchair, completed 16 miles and have raised £1,250 so far.

Every penny from these events will go directly towards supporting the services that the Care Trust provides, to enhance patient experience and support healthcare across the community.

Walkers completing the Yorkshire Three Peaks for charityCatherine Jowitt, head of charity and volunteering the Trust, said: “Both challenges were definitely tough, but everyone had a great time in the fresh air and really enjoyed taking on new challenges for the charity.

“I want to say a big thank you to all the walkers from the Trust, community and from P.E.C who took part and fundraised for us; the NHS Trust is able to go above and beyond the support it provides across the Bradford District because people like you get involved, so we are very grateful.

“Special thanks also go to Keighley Morrisons Community Champion Nicole and to Skipton Morrisons Community Champion Claire, for both donating refreshments and supporting the walkers at the events, as well as the Marquis of Granby restaurant and the Half Moon café who supported our World Mental Health Day canal walk.”

The charity is still accepting donations to the walkers’ fundraising pages, which can be accessed via the links on the Better Lives charity page.

Anyone interested in the charity’s work can also find out more, including their upcoming events, online or by emailing betterlivescharity@bdct.nhs.uk to speak to the Better Lives team.