VOLUNTEERS will climb Mount Snowdon today on behalf of a Bradford charity aiming to raise money for cancer patients.

The Imran Khan Cancer Appeal (IKCA), based on Little Horton Lane, is taking a team of around 40 volunteers up Wales' highest mountain, to support its specialised cancer hospitals in Pakistan.

The IKCA - which was founded by Pakistan's former world cup-winning cricket captain and current prime minister, Imran Khan - has two Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospitals in the country, in Lahore and Peshawar, with a third also being built in Karachi.

The Lahore hospital was founded by Khan in 1994 and is named after his mother, who herself died of cancer in 1985.

Before its inception, there was no specialist cancer hospital in Pakistan, says IKCA manager Ikhlaq Ahmad.

Mr Ahmad adds that there is no national health service in Pakistan, while there is also a "lack of resources", which makes the IKCA's work even more vital.

"In Pakistan, if you have cancer, you won't have the same services we have in the UK. There is no NHS, and a lot of people in Pakistan cannot afford the very expensive treatment", he says.

"So the IKCA provides a little bit of hope to those cancer patients who have nowhere to turn to, giving them free treatment.

"We can't treat all cancer patients, but last year we did treat over 13,000 new patients at our hospitals."

Mr Ahmad is hoping that the trip to Mount Snowdon can raise between "£6,000 and £10,000".

"All the money raised will go towards medicine, medical equipment and whatever is needed the most for our patients", he adds.

"We are very proud of our volunteers, and we are privileged to have such a great group doing this walk.

"We also want to encourage people to lead a healthy lifestyle, and to not just stop at one or two treks, but to do them regularly!"

This will be the IKCA's first communal fundraising event since the easing of Covid restrictions, and although the team is "excited", safety "remains a priority", Mr Ahmad says.

"We will be observing all guidelines, doing temperature checks and handing out masks and hand gel", he adds.

On 10 July, the IKCA will also be taking on Ben Nevis - people can sign up on the charity's website, at a cost of £10, says events coordinator Shafiq Rafiq.

People can also donate to help the ongoing construction of the new Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre in Karachi, by texting BRICKS to 70450 to donate £5 or £10, with texts costing the donation amount plus one standard rate message.