THE Prime Minister has been in York today at a support centre which has helped 5,000 people in the year since it opened.

York Against Cancer’s Leveson Centre celebrated its first anniversary just a few weeks ago and this morning (February 12) got a visit from Rishi Sunak.

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CEO of York Against Cancer, Julie Russell, said: "It's not the normal morning at York Against Cancer.

"We had both York MPs, Rachael Maskell and Julian Sturdy at our anniversary event a few weeks ago and Julian has been talking about us back at Westminster apparently, because we found out that we were going to get a visit from a senior cabinet minister, but we didn't find out until half an hour before his arrival that it was going to be the PM.

"We thought: 'Wow! Let's get the kettle on and make him a cup of coffee!'"

While at the centre Mr Sunak had the opportunity to talk to some of the volunteers and the staff as well as Prof Steve Leveson, who the centre is named after, and his wife Pat, both of whom have been involved in the charity from day one. 

The centre opened the doors of its new cancer support centre at the LNER Community Stadium on the outskirts of York on February 6 last year.

One year on, the it has helped almost 5,000 people through phone calls, walk-ins and appointments.

"The number we have helped has exceeded our expectations," said Julie.

"We always knew the centre would be much-needed, but we didn't know what the demand was going to be.

"It's quite sad that there are so many people who need us.

"I feel extremely proud of what we have done here. It was about a year in the design process making sure that whatever was going to happen was what cancer patients really needed."

The Leveson Centre can be found in York Community Stadium, Huntington. To get in touch, you can call: 01904 202647, email: or visit to learn more.

York Press: Julie Russell, CEO of York Against Cancer, left, and Debbie Smith, manager of The Leveson CentreJulie Russell, CEO of York Against Cancer, left, and Debbie Smith, manager of The Leveson Centre (Image: Dave Harrison)

Elsewhere in North Yorkshire Mr Sunak has also been speaking to apprentice bus drivers and engineers in Harrogate this morning.

He said: “Every penny from HS2 in the North, almost £20 billion, is going to stay in the North.”

When he announced his decision in October last year to cancel plans to extend HS2 from the West Midlands, Mr Sunak said the Government would “reinvest every single penny, £36 billion, in hundreds of new transport projects”.

The Department for Transport’s Network North plan stated that this involved £19.8 billion for the North, £9.6 billion for the Midlands and £6.5 billion for the rest of England.