STAFF at York Hospital have been celebrating a boost for the treatment of stroke patients after a major fundraising campaign reached its first milestone.

The Star Appeal, which has been running for a year, has successfully raised £180,000, allowing the installation of a ceiling track hoist on Ward 39, the stroke rehabilitation ward.

The new system is now up and running after being fitted last month.

Hospital staff have praised the “fantastic support of the local community”, but said it still needed to raise another £120,000 to complete its modernisation of the ward.

Janet Heppell, ward sister, said: “The ceiling track hoists are already making a tremendous difference. We’re able to move patients in a more comfortable manner.

“The new hoists also make such a difference to our staff, as they take up very little space and are easy and safe to use.

“Thank you on behalf of all the staff on the ward for the fantastic support this appeal has received so far. We really hope we can reach the appeal target as quickly as possible for the benefit of our patients.”

The hospital said it had no additional funding secured to achieve its target and so was once again relying on support from local people and businesses to make the appeal a success.

NHS bosses said the unit was vital in helping some of the 10,500 people who suffer a stroke in Yorkshire every year.

The Star Appeal is aiming to raise £300,000 to refurbish the unit, which is said to be “desperately in need of modernisation to meet the specific needs of patients recovering from a stroke”.

Forthcoming fundraising events include a quiz night at the Post Office Club in Marygate, which takes place at 8pm on January 22.

For information on how you can help raise money, phone Lucy Lowthian on 01904 721737 or email