A GROUP of family and friends has completed a gruelling trek to raise money for Oxenhope Sue Ryder hospice Manorlands.

And the mammoth 76-kilometre challenge has coined-in over £18,000.

The 'Big Walk for Mum' was staged in memory of Alison Fort, who received end-of-life care from the hospice, where she died last October.

An 11-strong team walked through the night from Burnsall to Manorlands, and back!

The event was organised by Alison's son, Jonny.

"So much of the walk was great fun and the mood was generally upbeat but there were moments when it was absolutely brutal," he says.

"One of the toughest parts was the final five kilometres to the hospice, especially when it dawned on us that we’d have to walk back again!

"However, if we needed any reminder of why we were doing it, we were greeted at the hospice with warm hugs from Sue Ryder nurse Joanne, which was extra special because she was on duty the night mum died."

After enjoying bacon butties, the hikers set off back to Burnsall, where they arrived around 21-and-a-half hours following their original departure.

"Reaching the end of the walk was very emotional," says Jonny.

"It was a mixture of complete exhaustion and utter elation, and the added sadness of why we were doing it."

The sum raised will fund the equivalent of more than 700 hours' expert care at Manorlands.

Jonny adds: "Our grieving has not been easy but it would have been even harder had it not been for the first-class care provided by the whole team at Manorlands.

"Nothing we do will bring mum back and we miss her desperately, but we can’t speak more highly of the hospice team, and it feels amazing to have raised this amount of money in tribute to her.

"I cannot thank enough the walkers and the volunteers who supported us. We were spurred on throughout the walk by the cause, the generous donations – including from people we met along the way – and most of all the camaraderie amongst the team. It was truly epic!"

Adam Brunskill, community fundraiser at Manorlands, says: "We’d like to say a huge 'thank you' to all involved.

"This was a massive physical, mental and logistical challenge so we're overjoyed and immensely proud that the team's effort has been rewarded with such a phenomenal fundraising total."

Donations can still be made at justgiving.com/page/jonny-fort-1673621481312.