AN initiative staged to celebrate Airedale Hospital’s 50th birthday has been hailed as a huge success.

As part of the 50 for 50 challenge, people were invited to come-up with ideas based around the number – and staff and the public didn’t disappoint.

A huge range of activities was tackled, by participants of all ages.

And over £3,000 was raised, half of which will be used to support staff health and wellbeing while the remainder goes to the hospital charity Friends of Airedale.

Some of the funds have already been used to buy a set of portable weighing scales so that the dietetics team can weigh people who are in a wheelchair comfortably – and even in the person’s own home.

Jodie Hearnshaw, fundraising manager at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, pays tribute to everybody who took on a challenge.

“We want to say a huge ‘thank you’ to everyone – people have done so much for us but are still wanting to do more,” she said.

“It’s lovely to see how staff members got involved too – it shows how much they care for the organisation and our patients.”

Participants included the Stripey Badger Bookshop in Grassington, which donated 50p from every book sold during the anniversary week to the cause. The shop had already donated book vouchers for hospital staff early in the pandemic.

Catherine Redman, a senior sister at the health trust, arranged for children and grandchildren of acute assessment unit staff to draw pictures and get sponsored. The work was displayed in the unit.

Jane Hill, who works in intermediate care, sold 50 masks donated by Asda in Keighley.

Julia Nixon, clinical manager for urgent care at the trust, completed 50 burpees and 50 squats – for 50 days!

The trust’s head of communications, Katie Lister, walked 50 miles over 27 days – including routes in the Lakes, Nidderdale and Swaledale.

Nicola Younger, a receptionist at Ilkley Coronation Hospital, got on her bike to give support and cycled 50 miles.

Children from across the area also did their bit.

Emily Grace Wood, from Ilkley, walked 50 miles one week and then cycled the same distance the following week.

And Ronnie Hearnshaw, of Oakworth, and his pug Frank walked 50 kilometres. They used Strava to map their progress– walking a mile a day – and were sponsored by family, friends and teachers at Oakbank School in Keighley.