Robert Palmer

She Makes My Day

Ilkley man raises £30,000 for Airedale in memory of his father

L-R: Nicola Denbow (Matron for HODU), James Bush, Foluke Ajayi (CEO at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust), Isabelle Bush (James’ daughter)

James Bush from Ilkley raised £30,000 for the Haematology and Oncology Day Unit (HODU) at Airedale Hospital, in memory of his father, George Bush.

On Friday 8 July, James held a clay pigeon shooting event at Denton Hall in Ilkley. 250 people from across the country attended the event and 31 teams competed in the clay pigeon shoot.

HODU provides care for a large number of patients with a variety of haematology and oncology conditions, many of whom visit the unit on a regular basis for chemotherapy and other treatments.

Thanks to charitable donations and the support of the Airedale community, Airedale Hospital & Community Charity is currently funding a £175k refurbishment of HODU which is due to be complete in mid-September. This will transform the unit to make an additional treatment room, upgrade technology, and add new recliner chairs to help ensure patients are as comfortable as possible when undergoing chemotherapy.

James said: “The initial idea was to raise funds for HODU to generate enough money to provide chairs and equipment to improve the time that patients and their companions spent on the unit. This was all as a result of my father, George, receiving treatment on the unit for the best part of five years. The staff really made the treatment sessions more bearable, particularly with their light-hearted approach and demeanour: something that my father always commented on.

“Once we learned that HODU was having a complete refit, the goal was to try and raise 10% of the refit cost, which would have been about £17.5k.”

He continued: “Organising the event was a challenge but a pleasure at the same time. We had an unbelievable response from my father’s friends and business associates, and we filled the team spaces for the day in just a couple of weeks.

“Sponsorship was forthcoming from a number of businesses and individuals which meant that we could run our event with 100% of the entry fees and bar takings going straight to the charity pot. We had additional significant individual donations which I’m grateful for. One final donation was made recently by a fantastic customer who we’ve known for many years who felt that £29,140 wasn’t a round enough number and kindly made it up to £30,000!

“I still can’t believe the support we received for the event and would like to thank everyone involved, including those who took part and competed, those who donated and supported us at distance, as well as volunteers, and family and friends that helped me deliver the most fantastic day.”

Nicola Denbow, Matron for HODU at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, said: “What an incredible event and amount raised for HODU. It was lovely to meet James and his family and we’re extremely grateful for their hard work and generosity.

“I’m looking forward to welcoming James back when the HODU refurbishment is complete, so he can see the difference that his fundraising has made.”

The event sponsors were: Eric Aaron Shooting, Cranswick Gourmet Bacon, N G Bailey Group Ltd, Ripon Farm Services, Townson Tractors, Nigel Launder, Ox Close Fine Foods, Queens Head Kettlesing, Hartlington Fencing, Photos by Luke Oyston, and E J Churchill Swinton.

If you would like to donate to Airedale HODU please visit: www.airedalecharity.org/donate-to-one-of-our-appeals/.

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