A GROUP of men have walked the 13 miles from Selby to York barefoot to support the special care baby unit.

Peter Harper, Simon Tomlinson, Darius Lawniczak and Tommy Mointy walked from their hometown of Selby to the unit at York Hospital barefoot as a way of thanking the unit for the help they have given their family and friends.

Their efforts have so far raised about £800 to help fund a specialist machine to help babies breathe.

Peter organised the event after his son's partner Tasha give birth to twins Jacob-Lee and Taylor-Jay.

Very sadly, Jacob-Lee died after spending eight days in intensive care. Having spent nearly eight weeks of his life in the special care baby unit (SCBU) Taylor-Jay is now a happy and healthy one-year-old.

Peter said about the SCBU: "When we came up to see the babies in the hospital we could not believe the amount of work they did. When the staff had finished their hours they did not walk out the door.

"The work they did was incredible and they were so kind."

He said his neighbour Darius asked to join them on the walk as his son had also received outstanding treatment on the unit.

The group made their way from Selby to Barlby and along the cycle path to York, before heading towards Naburn, Fulford and the hospital where Judith Hills, of the SCBU, was waiting with a foot spa ready for them.

Peter, 56, said: "When we got to ten miles it was a struggle, we were crossing the road looking for the smoothest bits of tarmac and trying to find grass without nettles in it."

He said a bus driver and passersby stopped to donate.

The team decided to walk barefoot as a fundraising idea that would physically challenge them but would not cost money to do, Peter said.

If you would like to sponsor them, visit www.justgiving.com/jacob-lee/