A SPECIAL bus service for people going through cancer treatment brings light into their lives as a difficult time and deserves the city's praise, according to one grateful patient.

Breast cancer survivor Grace Rutherford has nominated York Against Cancer's minibus service for The Press's Community Pride awards in the Service with a Smile category, for the help it gives by providing free transport to and from radiotherapy treatment at hospital in Leeds.

The bus is driven by Graham Bradbury and Ian Stevenson supported by volunteer Ron Bailey and the rest of the York Against Cancer team.

The charity's general manager Julie Russell said the service is a team effort which begins when people first contact the organisation and speak to coordinator Heather Atkinson.

Julie added: "We are a small charity so we are all involved in the minibus service, and we are extremely proud of it.

"When somebody is diagnosed with cancer they have all sorts of things going on. Then to be told they need to get to Leeds everyday for their treatment can be a real problem. We like to think this is one way we can help by taking that worry away."

Grace has praised the care and attention Graham and Ian show the passengers. She said: "They are the most brilliant pair of people I have ever come across, they make the journey much more pleasurable. Graham is a great one for cracking jokes and Ian is very knowledgeable about wildlife so will point out Red Kites on the way over to Leeds.

"When we get to Leeds they always make sure everyone is settled in and, after your treatment, will send you for a cup of tea and some food before they set off again. They really care for everyone."

Sje added: "When I first went to the hospital I was so daunted because it's huge, like an aircraft hanger, but on the bus you are with other people who have already started their treatment and they look after you."

Grace, 61, is now back at work at the Job Centre and her prognosis looks good. She has nominated the York Against Cancer as a way of thanking them for the help they gave through the tough times of her cancer treatment.

"It was a difficult time, but having their help was such a relief. In a way, they made a difficult time a pleasure."

- For more information on the Community Pride awards or to make a nomination, go to yorkpress.co.uk/pride. Nominations can also be sent to Paula Homer, PA to the editor, The Press, 76-86 Walmgate, York YO1 9YN before Friday, July 18, with details including a supporting statement of no more than two sides of A4 with each nomination. You may also include a picture, which unfortunately we will be unable to return.