FATHER and daughter duo, Jonathan and Lucy Hodgson, have raised more than £1,300 for Sue Ryder, by scaling the heights of Ben Nevis in memory of Lucy’s great aunt Mary.

Mary James, from Otley, was cared for in her final days by expert staff from Sue Ryder Wheatfields Hospice earlier this year. The hospice, based in Headingley, provides expert palliative care and support for people who are living with a life-limiting condition.

Mary’s nephew, Jonathan, 47, said: “Mary became unwell in June last year and was later diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer. She was very strong right up to the end.

“It was Mary’s wish that she spend her final days at home, surrounded by the closest members of the family. The nurses from Sue Ryder Wheatfields Hospice made this possible and came out to care for her.

“Gary, Mary’s husband, can’t speak highly enough of staff from the hospice. I take my hat off to them – it takes very special people to give that kind of compassion and care.”

Jonathan explained how the idea for the challenge had come from his 12-year-old daughter: “Over the last couple of years, Lucy and I have climbed Snowden and Scafell Pike in the Lake District, and it was our aim to tackle Ben Nevis. We’d earmarked the second Bank Holiday in May to do it. In the mix of that, we obviously knew that my Aunt Mary wasn’t very well. She sadly passed away in early February.

“Very soon after that, Lucy came to me and asked if we could do the challenge in memory of Mary to raise some money. So, I got in touch with Sue Ryder and set up a JustGiving page – it’s just gone from there."

Having set aside a full day to tackle the route, Jonathan and Lucy set off at 8.30am in the morning and completed the climb nine hours later.

Jonathan added: “It was a fantastic opportunity to spend time with my daughter – sharing experiences like this with Lucy, it’s very special. She’s already asking me what we can do next!

Jonathan also organised a quiz and raffle in his village pub to raise further funds.

Clare Humphreys, Community Fundraiser at Sue Ryder Wheatfields Hospice, said: “What Jonathan and Lucy have achieved in Mary’s memory is amazing.

“From all of us at Sue Ryder Wheatfields Hospice we want to say a huge thank you, the money raised means we can keep supporting people at the most difficult times of their life.”

To donate visit: https://www.justgiving.com/page/jonathan-hodgson-1709063604265