A VITAL service which has made thousands of trips to take patients to hospital for cancer treatment is asking for help to buy a new minibus.

York Against Cancer has used its current bus to take many hundreds of people to hospital for cancer treatment since it began in 2007.

Now it is appealing for public help to replace its current minibus and to keep it on the road for the foreseeable future.

Julie Russell, general manager at the charity, said: “Because the minibus is such an invaluable service, it needs to be reliable and people need to be confident in it. It needs to run every day in all weathers, come rain or shine. Now is the time to replace it. We need York’s help. Could you sponsor a tyre, would your school like to buy a wing mirror, could your business fund an exhaust system?

"Whatever you could raise for York Against Cancer to buy a new minibus would be gratefully received by us and the many people who currently use the service and those who will need it in the future. From the cost of a windscreen wiper to a tank of petrol it will all help to ensure local patients can get to Leeds for their treatment. Together we can make a difference.”

The charity has estimated it will need to raise £150,000 to fund a new vehicle and then to pay for drivers and costs and to keep the service going for the next five to six years.

Every day the York Against Cancer minibus runs free of charge taking patients from York to Leeds for radiotherapy treatment at St James Teaching Hospital.

By catching the minibus it removes any concern patients have about driving or parking whilst having their treatment and it means they can support one another on the journey. The present minibus is on the go every week day, 52 weeks of the year.

One patient said: "My daily treatment at St. James’ covered 40 trips over a period of 69 days. At the start, the end seemed an eternity away. Once underway however, and being picked up and dropped off at the door, the time seemed to fly by. I express my thanks to all the members of the team responsible for the various aspects of the minibus service, and am sure that the speed with which my course passed was due to their efficiency and friendliness.”

If you would like to help, email appeal.contact@yorkagainstcancer.org.uk or call 01904 764466.