Family and Friends From Burnsall Complete Gruelling Overnight Hike for Manorlands Hospice

 A group of family and friends from Burnsall have raised over £18,000 for national healthcare charity Sue Ryder after completing a challenging 76km trek across three Yorkshire valleys.

The ‘Big Walk for Mum’ was organised in memory of Alison Fort, who received end-of-life care from Sue Ryder Manorlands Hospice in her final days in October 2022.

After burying Alison’s ashes in Burnsall Churchyard in a private and poignant ceremony on the morning of Friday 9 June, the Fort family turned their attention to the physical and mental challenge ahead.

Setting off from The Red Lion in Burnsall at 8pm, the 11-strong team crossed the Wharfe Valley, Aire Valley and Worth Valley during the night before reaching Sue Ryder Manorlands Hospice in Oxenhope at 5.30am.

Her son, Jonny Fort, who organised the challenge, said: “So much of the walk was great fun and the mood was generally upbeat, but there were moments when it was absolutely brutal. I think one of the toughest parts was the final 5km to the hospice – especially when it dawned on us that we’d have to walk back again!

“However, if we needed any reminder of why we were doing it, we were greeted at the hospice with warm hugs from Sue Ryder Nurse Joanne, which was extra special because she was on duty the night Mum died.”

After enjoying “the best tasting bacon butty of all time” cooked by the hospice team, the hikers then began their long journey back to Burnsall. Despite the blisters, cramps and rising temperatures, they reached The Red Lion at 5.30pm on Saturday 10 June, 21.5 hours after originally setting off.

“Reaching the end of the walk was very emotional,” said Jonny. “It was a mix of complete exhaustion, combined with utter elation, and the added sadness of why we were doing it. When we were approaching the pub, we could see that lots of people, including friends and family, were waiting for us to arrive and they did a big guard of honour with rapturous applause. I had my arm around my dad, and I just burst into tears.”

Through completing the challenge, which saw them do over 100,000 steps and climb more than 4,500ft, the team has raised over £18,000. This is the equivalent of funding over 700 hours of expert care, so Sue Ryder doctors and nurses can manage patients’ pain and symptoms and make more space for a family’s final days to be filled with love.

“Our grieving has not been easy. However, it would have undoubtedly been even harder had it not been for the first-class care provided by the whole team at Sue Ryder Manorlands Hospice,” said Jonny.

“Nothing we do will bring mum back and we miss her desperately, but we can’t speak more highly of the hospice team and it feels amazing to have raised this amount of money in tribute to her.

“I cannot thank the walkers and other volunteers who supported us enough. We were spurred on throughout the walk by the cause, the generous donations – including from people we met along the way – and most of all the camaraderie amongst the team. It was truly epic!”

Adam Brunskill, Community Fundraiser at Sue Ryder Manorlands Hospice, said: “We’d like to say a huge thank you to all involved with the walk, especially Jonny, Catherine and Robert who have been inspirational in their endeavour to raise as much as possible in memory of Alison.

“This was a massive physical, mental and logistical challenge so we are overjoyed and immensely proud that the team’s effort has been rewarded with such a phenomenal fundraising total.”

There is still time to donate to the ‘Big Walk for Mum’ fundraising page. Visit:

Get deals, content & news from across Yorkshire

Join our mailing list for the latest & greatest from across the region, direct into your email box.

More To Explore

Want to connect with more than a million Yorkshire people?

Whether you're looking to boost your online presence or connect with potential customers, there are plenty of effective ways we can get your message out there. So why wait? Let's start making waves and taking your brand to the masses today!