Glowing tributes have been paid to the Keighley News as an annual UK-wide initiative celebrates the role of local newspapers.

‘Making a Difference’ is the focus of this year’s Local Newspaper Week, launched on Monday. The venture, organised by the Newspaper Society, is showcasing how papers can make a real difference to people’s lives.

And several major community campaigns spearheaded by the Keighley News have earned high praise.

Our appeal to raise a massive £1 million for Manorlands smashed through its target last month. Caring readers responded magnificently to the plea for support, helping maintain invaluable services for a further year at the Oxenhope Sue Ryder hospice.

KN editor Richard Parker also did his bit by running the London Marathon.

We also joined with Phoenix Special School in Keighley to help raise £24,000 towards the cost of a specially adapted minibus able to accommodate wheelchair-bound pupils. We have supported a £500,000 appeal for overseas treatment for young cancer sufferer Callum Ingham (see page 19), and backed the Let’s Grow Keighley initiative, designed to create eco-based jobs and encourage residents to grow their own food.

Earlier this month, the Keighley News joined forces with Airedale Hospital to launch a £100,000 appeal to buy a range of desperately needed resources for the new Emergency Department (see pages 28/29).

Hospital fundraiser Bronagh Daly said the impact of the newspaper’s involvement had already been significant.

“It’s only a fortnight into the campaign but we’ve had a massive response from the public – the phone hasn’t stopped ringing with people wanting to pledge money or asking how they can help,” she said. “It demonstrates what an important role the Keighley News plays in the community.”

Lizzie Procter, palliative care services manager at Manorlands, said: “We are very grateful for the support given to us by the Keighley News – both ongoing and throughout the Million for Manorlands campaign.”

Keighley MP Kris Hopkins said: “The Keighley News has a long-established tradition of campaigning vigorously and effectively for local causes, with the remarkable achievement of hitting the £1 million target for Manorlands hospice, its most recent high-profile success.

“It also continues to do a magnificent job in stoking the local feel-good factor in preparation for the Tour de France’s arrival on our roads in a few weeks’ time.

“Local newspapers know their readers better than anyone else and they play a vital role in the communities they serve. That is why they must be protected and why the government has acted to produce tough restrictions on taxpayer-funded local authority news sheets.”

Mr Parker said: “We pride ourselves on the campaigning we undertake for key community causes on our patch. But campaigns would never have the impact they do without the incredible support of our readers.”