A NINE-year-old has completed a 35-mile walk, spread over two weeks, in aid of St Leonard’s Hospice in York.

Nell Skelton, whose mum works as a nurse at the hospice, on Tadcaster Road, aimed to raise sponsorship money both in celebration of the hospice’s 35th birthday and to support the charity during the Covid-19 pandemic.

She has now raised more than £2,300.

Nell, from Escrick south of York, began the challenge with her dog Fred on June 29 and aimed to clock up 35 miles within two weeks, however she completed it in just one week, walking the last leg on July 5.

Nell said: “My mum works at St Leonard’s Hospice with her amazing Hospice@Home team. During lockdown my mum was at work lots because of Covid-19.

“I decided I wanted to raise money for the hospice to support all their outstanding work that they do to support people who need palliative care. Last year my grandma Jean died and needed palliative care too.

“I am overwhelmed by the kindness of everybody who has sponsored me and Fred to complete this challenge. Thank you!”

Nell’s mum Alison, senior sister for Hospice@Home, added: “I am so proud of Nell for completing this challenge, and even more so that she thought of the idea independently.

“When I asked Nell the reason why she wanted to do this she was able to explain with really good understanding, the importance behind the need to fundraise for the hospice so that more people can be supported with palliative care when they need it the most.

“Nell is a really kind girl with a loving heart and the support she has received from people has been overwhelming. We are so grateful for everyone’s generosity.”

St Leonard’s Hospice chief executive, Emma Johnson, joined Nell for the last leg of her walk on July 5.

She said: “Nell has done an amazing job and really is a superstar fundraiser.

“It was great to be able to join her and Fred on the last leg of the walk.

“She should be really proud of what she’s achieved and I’d like to say a huge thank you on behalf of all the patients and families that we are able to care for at the hospice as a result of her fundraising.”

People can donate to Nell’s fundraising page on the hospice website here: https://www.stleonardshospice.org.uk/Donate/Fundraising-Pages/View-Fundraising-pages/Nell-Skelton

St Leonard’s Hospice is an independent charity. Its mission is to provide excellent care and support to those living with life-limiting illness and to the people they care about.