WE were all buoyed this week to learn of the excellent progress Skipton youngster Luke Mortimer is making after his devastating illness almost 18 months ago.

The brave rugby-mad young lad was struck down with bacterial meningitis when just aged seven and despite having a series of operations and amputations, has amazed his family and friends with his progress.

Despite his catastrophic changes, Luke’s disabilities have not stopped him from being able to play with friends, learning to walk, picking up utensils and feeding himself. He has also returned to school.

Now eight, the youngster is almost never seen without a smile on his face and prior to Covid many individuals and organisations, including his beloved Skipton Rugby Club, organised events to raise money to meet his needs.

Now restrictions are being lifted, fundraising is starting again in earnest. The latest event is taking place next Sunday, June 12, when a team of 12 riders - including Luke’s dad, Adam, aims to cycle the 127-mile length of the Leeds-Liverpool canal in less than 12 hours.

The event includes an open day at Skipton Fire Station where people can go along and track the team’s progress.

It is an event being supported far and wide and being spurred on by a youngster who has bravery by the bucket load. Luke, you are a star.