Archive | Health & Fitness

‘Every Daffodil Counts’ this March




Every year in March, Marie Curie, the charity which cares for people living with a terminal illness, hold their annual Great Daffodil Appeal. This year Marie Curie is appealing for support in Leeds.

Marie Curie nurses care for people in Leeds in their own homes from 10pm until 7am. They provide hands on care and emotional support as well as allowing loved ones some much needed rest. The charity has also launched a telephone support line and has lots of information about living with a terminal illness available on their website



Jen Aspinall, Community Fundraiser for Marie Curie in Leeds, is asking people across the city to support the Great Daffodil Appeal in whatever way they can this March; “Marie Curie are appealing for support in Leeds so that we can continue providing services, which are completely free of charge to people living with a terminal illness and their families, when they need it most.”

How can you help?

  • Sign up to volunteer for two hours or more at Great Daffodil Appeal collection. Marie Curie has a huge street collection planned in Leeds City Centre on Friday 31st March and lots of others across the city. You can sign up online on our website or contact the fundraising team on 01274 386190. Why not bring your friends, family or colleagues with you and challenge each other to raise the most for Marie Curie? Will your employer allow you time away from work to volunteer as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility policy? Does your employer run a match funding scheme where they match whatever you raise for charity? Or do you know someone who can sing, dance or has a talent to entertain the public at one of Marie Curie’s street collections? If so we would love to hear from you!
  • Would your organisation have a box of daffodil pin badges on their reception? For a small donation your colleagues and customers can purchase a daffodil to raise vital funds and awareness of Marie Curie Great Daffodil Appeal in March.
  • If you have an idea of your own, or need a little inspiration to raise funds in your own way you can order a fundraising pack full of ideas online at Your local Community fundraiser will be more than happy to support you, provide materials and advice to make whatever you plan a huge success.


For more information please contact Jen Aspinall, Marie Curie Community Fundraiser on 01274 386190 or email


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Xercise4Less Holding Charity Fitness Challenges in Support of Anthony Nolan


Local Xercise4Less gym has set-up a series of healthy community initiatives throughout February in support of registered blood cancer charity ‘Anthony Nolan’.

The month-long fund raising mission invites members of the general public to use the gym facilities and take part in a variety of fitness challenges with the chance to win free gym memberships. A £1 (minimum) donation is required to enter each challenge. All proceeds go towards Anthony Nolan.

Join the register

Anthony Nolan works to save the lives of people with blood cancer through their donor register, securing donations of blood stem cells or bone marrow to provide people with blood cancer and blood disorders with vital transplants.

Xercise4Less Leeds will be inviting members and their friends to see if they could become a potential match on the donor list in a bid to save more lives. The gym will donate £1 for every new member that joins the donor registry.

Challenges will be set on ‘Special Monday’s’ from 5-8pm, and those participating will have the chance to win a free gym membership.

Events Calendar:

Monday 13th Feb: The wall sit challenge (£1 donation to enter. Hold this pressure position for as long as you possibly can for your chance to win a 3 month gym membership).

Monday 20th Feb: Super He-Row Challenge – Dress up and sport as your favourite super hero for the day as you take on the Xercise4Less rowing challenge. £1 donation to enter. Winners get a free 6 month gym membership.

Saturday 25th Feb: Nationwide ‘On Yer bike’ Spinathon (Group exercise challenge in support of the charity Brain Tumour Research). Ask at the front desk for more details.

Monday 27th Feb: The protein hold. Hold out 2 tubs of 1kg protein, arms stretched, for as long as you possibly can for your chance to win a 3 month gym membership.

Xercise4Less Leeds Gym,

1 Kirkstall Industrial Estate,

Kirkstall Road, Burley,


Tel: 0113 887 8111





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The Biggest Fight Against Bone Cancer


Horsforth-based charity the Bone Cancer Research Trust has launched a new £1.1 million campaign for 2017. The Biggest Fight Against Bone Cancer is the largest campaign the charity has ever launched and will run for 12 months until December 2017.

Each year in the UK and Ireland around 600 new cases of primary bone cancer are diagnosed and around 300 people die from these cancers. Young people are most likely to be affected as the disease has a peak incidence between the ages of 10 to 24 years old. Patients that survive the disease often face disability as a result of life-altering surgery and treatment.

In recent years there have been significant advances in understanding and treatments of more common cancers, but through a lack of research there have been no significant improvements to primary bone cancer survival rates for nearly 30 years – a fact the charity is working hard to combat.



The Bone Cancer Research Trust is the only charity dedicated to fighting primary bone cancer. Over the last three years the charity has encouraged more researchers to explore primary bone cancer and have funded more research projects than ever before in its history.

Now the charity urgently needs to secure new funding as its income has fallen in recent years and currently it is receiving more applications for grants than it can fund.



Mat Cottle-Shaw, Head of Fundraising and Communications, said: “The money raised from The Biggest Fight Against Bone Cancer will ensure we can fund more research, provide more information, raise more awareness, support more individuals and ultimately save more lives.”

The charity is now calling on North Leeds residents to support their pioneering efforts in any way that they can – from holding a Bake It for Bone Cancer event to taking part in a sporting challenge.

Visit and follow #TheBiggestFight on social media to get involved with the campaign.

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Mary Poppins Scolds Government as Air Pollution Limits Broken Five Days into 2017



On 6th January, as the UK broke 2017’s annual air pollution limits only five days into the year (three days earlier than last year), childhood champion Mary Poppins was spotted soaring over Leeds in a pollution mask, calling on politicians to clean up the UK’s air to protect kids’ lungs.

Greenpeace, which was behind her appearance, is urging the government to end the sale of new diesel cars, most of which pump out between two to 15 times the legal limits, and push manufacturers to rapidly shift to hybrid and electric vehicles.

“It’s shocking that it’s taken only five days to break the UK’s annual limit of air pollution”, said Alan Rawlinson, local Greenpeace activist. “Despite growing concerns about the health impacts of diesel fumes, the government has done almost nothing to tackle car companies since they were caught cheating emissions tests. Unbelievably, the government is still incentivising consumers to buy brand new diesel cars that are pumping out illegal levels of pollution. If cars coming off the production line had dodgy brakes, you know the government would step in to sort it out. We urgently need to stop the sale of new diesel models until emission testing is truly fit for purpose. Better still, we need car companies to phase out diesel completely and concentrate on hybrid and electric alternatives. We need #cleanairnow.”

Under EU rules, any single location in the UK is only allowed to breach hourly limits of 200 micrograms of NO2 per cubic metre of air 18 times in a year, but late last night Brixton Road in London broke that limit for the 19th time. That breach means the UK has already violated 2017’s annual air pollution limits just five days into the year.

In the past few months, doctors, health professionals and campaigners, have all spoken out about the devastating impact of air pollution on human health, especially children’s. Air pollution can cause asthma in otherwise healthy children, stunts children’s lung growth permanently by up to 10%, and is linked to strokes, heart disease and diabetes in older people.

In November 2016, the High Court ruled for the second time in 18 months that the government is not doing enough to combat the air pollution crisis. The judge also said ministers knew that over-optimistic pollution modeling was being used, based on flawed lab tests of diesel vehicles rather than actual emissions on the road. The government must now look again at proposals to bring pollution levels down to legal levels.



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The Search is on For Leeds Hospital Heroes

Prof Giannoudis was presented with the Hospital Hero award at Leeds Teaching Hospitals’ Time to Shine Awards last year.

Prof Giannoudis was presented with the Hospital Hero award at Leeds Teaching Hospitals’ Time to Shine Awards last year.

Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust has launched its staff awards to recognise and celebrate the achievements of nearly 17,000 employees. They are inviting their patients and the public of Leeds to get involved by nominating their Hospital Hero for an award.

Sponsored by Altodigital and FDP Group, the Trust’s Time to Shine awards provide the opportunity for teams across the City’s hospitals to receive recognition for their work and a platform for sharing good practice.

“We have exceptional staff here at Leeds Teaching Hospitals, many of whom go the extra mile on a daily basis. They are our Hospital Heroes and we often feel humbled by their selfless dedication to their work and to our patients”, said Chief Executive, Julian Hartley.

“Through our Time to Shine Awards we’d love our patients, their families and the community of Leeds to get involved and nominate a deserving member of our staff for our Hospital Hero award on our website.”

The deadline for nominations is Sunday 18th December. To nominate your hospital hero visit the website and click on the Time to Shine awards rotating banner at the top of the home page:

The winner of last year’s Hospital Hero award was Prof Peter Giannoudis who was repeatedly nominated for his pioneering work in orthopaedics at Leeds Trauma Centre and for his development of the Day One Trauma Charity which is the first charity of its kind in the country.

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Help Purchase Playing Field for Community


Hyde Park residents and recently began a bid to buy a playing field on Victoria Road – the aim being to establish it as a community sports field with indoor facilities, which can be used by local schools, groups, individuals and sports teams.

The site has been subject to a judicial review. Developers Yorvale have put forward a plan to build a private, gated complex for 262 students, with only a small area being publicly accessible. This plan was originally turned down by the Leeds Plans Panel in December 2015. Now, in a review being held between Tuesday 11th and Tuesday 25th October, a planning inspector will decide whether or not this development can go ahead., a new website, has been launched to enable people to pledge money to jointly purchase the site. So far over £5,000 has been pledged. Organisers will be approaching more groups, businesses and individuals to add to the growing fund, which will hopefully secure this facility for people of all ages and for future generations.

The area seriously lacks public sports facilities. Two of the five local primary schools have no grass facilities at all. All the schools are very inventive with their existing space, making the best use of it for their pupils, and would dearly welcome a community facility that provides more opportunities for sport.

For further information, and to make a pledge, please visit or contact John Davison 07815 822726, John

Cllr. John Illingworth, Leeds City Council
“Intensive public use of the Victoria Road sports facilities would allow at least 1000 local people to achieve five additional Quality Adjusted Life Years.”

“I have a young son. I simply cannot imagine him growing up with so little outdoor space. Thankfully that is not an issue where I live but it is for many little boys like him in Hyde Park. Leave the pitch alone.”

Penny Goodman, local resident
“I pledge £100 towards this cause. The Headingley and Hyde Park areas are already extremely densely populated. The area is badly deficient in public green space, and because many of the houses locally are back-to-backs they do not have their own garden space either. A community-owned playing field and / or sports facility would do a huge amount to help compensate for those problems, making everyone here healthier and happier.”

Harriet Vaight, local resident
“We will pledge £100. We live locally and are expecting our first baby soon. We would absolutely love this to be sports facilities for our children to use in the future. It’s really important to maintain green space in neighbourhoods for local community use. There is plenty of student accommodation already available in Hyde Park / Headingley, new flats for students aren’t a necessity. Harriet, Chris and baby bump.”

Jan, local resident
“Retaining this Sports site (which has been here for well over 100 years) for local state primary schools and the community would re-generate this area as nothing else could.”

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Eight Year Old Martial Arts World Record Breaker Wins in US


Leeds lad Jake Frood (8) has become the youngest master third degree black belt in the world. He completed the five hour test on Sunday 2nd October at the AEGIS Martial Arts and Leadership Academy and received his Third Degree Black Belt at a graduation ceremony at The Grammar School at Leeds on Sunday 9th October.


Jake hit the headlines twice before – when he broke the World Record for gaining his First Degree Black Belt at the age of five,  and on gaining his Second Degree at the age of six. His success is even more amazing as he suffers from Juvenile Arthritis, an immune disorder and Severe Hyper Mobility Disorder, which means he can suffer excruciating pains in his legs, arms and chest, and which makes him extremely tired. But, he battles through the pain and keeps on achieving outstanding results.


Jake recently returned from the World Kickboxing Championships at Universal Studios Resort in Orlando, Florida, a double bronze medalist. He was able to attend the competition thanks to sponsorship from the Stobart Group and help from family friend Chico Slimani of X Factor fame.

On arrival in the States, Jake discovered that he was the youngest competitor out of all 28 competing countries and there was no one else in his age group. It was decided that he move up from his original category of 8-9 yrs -40kg weight division in Full Contact Kickboxing, to U-13 -45kg. The children he was up against were almost a foot taller than him, but he made it through to the Semi Final and won the very respectable bronze medal. He gained a great deal of respect from coaches, managers, competitors and spectators from across the world.

He was then  asked to fight in the England U-13 Team for The Points fighting category, which he doesn’t usually fight in. Again, he fought well  against a much bigger and older opponent in the semi-final and the England Team came away with the bronze. Special mention must go to Del Sampson, the England manager who believed in Jake and selected him to represent his country on team England.

Jake continues to make his country and especially his home city of Leeds proud of him. His dream is to represent his country at the Olympics and there’s little doubt that he can achieve this. The hard work and dedication he puts in to his training is phenomenal.

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Pink Events Reach £200,000 Target at Anniversary Event



A family of fundraisers, who have been raising money for regional and national cancer-related charities and organisations for ten years, recently reached its £200,000 target at its annual Pink Ball.

The event on 1st October was the tenth ball hosted by Pink Events – a charity founded by Sarah Pattinson in 2005 when her sister, Kimberley O’Rourke, was diagnosed with breast cancer – both Sarah and the girls’ mother, Maureen Young, were also diagnosed several years later.

Run in collaboration with fellow trustees Mandy Bellfield, Jacky Lister and Angela Agar, and an army of willing volunteers, Pink Events have donated £64,008 to Cancer Research UK’s Breast Cancer Research, and £90,194 to Leeds Breast Care Unit at St James’ Hospital, where the money has helped to purchase a Vectra 3D imaging machine, treatment couches, and televisions for rest areas.

“Raising this amount of money would not have been possible without the continued support of so many generous people”, said Sarah. “However, having witnessed first-hand the incredible work that St James’s and Cancer Research are doing, it is paramount that we continue to raise funds for these and other charities as the equipment they require costs an inconceivable amount of money. Here’s to the next £200,000!”

Tim Lees, Managing Director, and Richard Bramma, Chief Executive Officer, of Mailway Packaging Solutions, the charity’s official sponsor, presented a cheque for £10,000 on the night. “We have been attending the Pink Ball since its inception ten years ago”, said Richard. “Our decision to sponsor the charity was easily made after hearing Philip Turton, Senior Breast Care Consultant at St James Hospital, talk about the great work that was being carried out, and how money raised by the general public was essential to their continued research. Both Tim and I continue to be inspired by the great work done by the Pink Events team and are delighted to be able to support them in any way we can.”

Pink Events, a North Leeds-based charity, runs numerous fundraising events throughout the year, including fashion shows, clay-pigeon shoots and private film screenings. Events still to be held this year include a wine tasting on Friday 18th November and a Champagne afternoon tea on Saturday 3rd December. 

For further information, email or visit



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Charity Launches Information on all Forms of Bone Cancer



To mark Bone Cancer Awareness Week (10th – 16th October), the Bone Cancer Research Trust is launching new information about the rarer forms of primary bone cancer and non-cancerous tumours that arise in the bone. For several of the rarer forms represented, this will be the first reliable patient information to be made available.

The charity has developed this information in collaboration with clinicians and scientists in order to ensure that anyone diagnosed with the condition has access to timely, accurate and trustworthy information. Free resources – from downloadable factsheets to printed leaflets – are available to download and request from

Around 600 people in the UK and Ireland are diagnosed with primary bone cancer every year and only half of these will survive the next five years. Currently, there is little information publicly available about the different forms of primary bone cancer, aside from scientific reports that are not usually easily digestible by all readers, or information on websites that is not necessarily reliable or accurate.

The charity partnered with The Royal College of GPs to develop an online module designed to support GPs with earlier diagnosis, which has now been accessed by over 800 GPs, with around 70% reporting an increase in their knowledge. The module forms a key part of the charity’s plans to radically improve early diagnosis and referrals for primary bone cancer.

“By providing this information we will give patients, their families and friends, trustworthy sources of information to prevent the feeling of being overwhelmed and confused by the often unreliable information available elsewhere online”, said  Hannah Birkett, Research and Information Officer at the Bone Cancer Research Trust.



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Why Settle for One Triathlon, When You Can Do Two!


A group of Leeds friends recently undertook the Triology Triathlon and followed that up with the Brownlee Tri on 24th September – and they are pretty pleased with themselves!

Hannah Hercules, Holly Wainwright, Lucy Lord, Ravinder Bhakar and Siobhan Tear, who had never done a triathlon before (in fact who had done very little exercise of any kind!) decided they would do both these events in aid of MacMillan Cancer Support.

“We wanted to challenge ourselves with a triathlon (or two!) whilst raising funds to support Macmillan Cancer Support and all those who have been affected by cancer”, said Hannah. “Macmillan do an amazing job supporting patients and their families during a time of real crisis. Their support is invaluable. As a team we hope to raise £600.”

Leeds City Council was a massive help to the girls, providing free, triathlon taster sessions citywide that they got involved in. We caught up with Hannah the following Monday and asked her first Brownlee Tri went ….

“Well….in a word I would describe it as TOUGH! It wasn’t so much the distance that was so challenging – it was the varied, hilly terrain.

The lake swim was like something out of the Hunger Games! The water was full of black silt and there were lots weeds in the water that were getting tangled in my fingers and toes.  The lake was full of people’s writhing bodies, colliding with each other – I felt like I was swimming for my life!

The transition to the bike entailed an uphill run over the field and another uphill run to the mount line – then an uphill start on the bike! Thankfully Macmillan Supporters were waiting at the top of the hill to shout words of encouragement and reassure me that I was NOT actually dying, despite my labored breathing, and moans of exhaustion!

The cycle section was a mixed experience – exhilaration as I zoomed down steep hills in the peaceful Leeds countryside, then a mixture of horror and painful burn as I pedaled up killer hills. I had to keep telling myself “you can do this, just don’t stop, you can do this just don’t stop….”  I was going so slowly up the hills, I was at risk of falling off!  But I managed it!

The run was my favorite part.  Although my legs felt strangely heavy and a bit wobbly, after such a tough swim and cycle I felt ready to take on whatever else faced me. The course took us out and away from the main Harewood grounds, into woodland, parts I had never seen before, it was stunning! At one part, it was quiet, I could see the house in the far distance, I was surrounded by grass, trees and birds and I just thought “I am so lucky to be alive and well enough to take part in something like this!”

I felt a little bit emotional. I thought about my three children waiting for me at the finish line and continued to power on to the end. Crossing the finish line was a such a rush and a buzz!

While I was dong my TRIathlon, my children, along with many others had competed in the children’s DUAthlon, which was a free event hosted at Harewood. So it was a lovely day out for all the family.

I hope to continue on this fitness path I’ve begun. I definitely plan to take part in next year’s Brownlee Triathlon!”


To help the team reach their goal, you can support them via



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