A campaign to raise thousands of pounds for Macmillan Cancer Support and the district's Plastic Surgery and Burns Research Unit (PSBRU) has been announced by two groups of Bradford City supporters.
Members of Bantams Trek and the Friends of Bradford City FC will embark on 18 months of fundraising activities, with the money split between local Macmillan services and the PSBRU, formed in the aftermath of the Bradford City fire disaster, which reaches its 30th anniversary next year.
Planned activities include a sponsored 1,000 mile walk from John O’ Groats to Land’s End, a Three Peaks challenge, a canal walk, question and answer nights with Bradford City players, a curry night, and bag-packing sessions at local supermarkets.
John Duckworth, 58, from Bantams Trek, and also the kit man at Bradford City, said: “I want to raise a substantial amount of money for both charities.
"This is going to be a big challenge, but I really hope people will get behind us. I chose Macmillan because everyone has been affected by cancer and they’re an organisation which is there for people all the way through their cancer journey.
"PSBRU was set up following the Bradford fire and I think they do great work. I was there on the day of the fire and it's always in my thoughts, and it's important not just to raise money this year for the 30th anniversary, but every year."
Ajay L Mahajan, Director of PSBRU, said the funds raised would support research activities at the University of Bradford around improvements to wound healing and scarring.
“We can never forget the people we lost or who were injured, and the least we can do is to continue our efforts towards improving healthcare to patients with similar or related injuries," he said.
"The PSBRU is a unit that the public have helped establish, and without their generous support, it would not exist.”
The fundraisers met Macmillan and PSBRU representatives at St Luke’s Hospital in Bradford yesterday, where Macmillan staff said all the money raised would be used for services solely in the Bradford area, such as developing more care coordinator roles to provide consistent and dedicated one-to-one support to cancer patients.
Hayley Cooke, Macmillan fundraising manager in Bradford, said: "The population of people living with cancer in West Yorkshire will nearly double by 2030, enough to fill Bradford City’s ground more than five times over.
"This increase will mean that more people will feel isolated and alone, but Macmillan can make sure we’re there to solve these issues.”
To make a donation, or to find out how you can get involved with local fundraising, email Hcooke@macmillan.org.uk.