Boost for Leeds hospices as YEP’s Half and Half Appeal closes in on £3m milestone

Kate Bratt-Farrar and Kerry Jackson, from Wheatfields and St Gemma's respectively, receive their cheques from YEP editor Hannah Thaxter, centre.
Kate Bratt-Farrar and Kerry Jackson, from Wheatfields and St Gemma's respectively, receive their cheques from YEP editor Hannah Thaxter, centre.

It is thought to be the country’s longest-running newspaper charity campaign.

Launched back in 1982, the Yorkshire Evening Post’s Half and Half Appeal raises funds for two Leeds hospices – Moortown-based St Gemma’s and Sue Ryder Wheatfields, in Headingley.

Today the money donated by the YEP’s big-hearted readers during the course of 2018 was handed over to the hospices.

And, speaking at the presentation, YEP editor Hannah Thaxter said she hoped this would be the year when the total raised since the appeal’s launch hit £3m.

“The Half and Half Appeal is something close to everyone’s heart at the YEP,” said Hannah.

“Being able to hand over these cheques is one of the highlights of the year, as we know every penny is being put to good use and helping those in our community in Leeds.

“A huge thank you from me, to every one of our readers who has donated – let’s reach our £3m milestone this year!”

A total of £15,474 was raised in 2018 and – as always – that money was split straight down the middle, meaning St Gemma’s and Wheatfields today received £7,737 each.

The amount raised by the appeal over the years currently stands at £2,992,949.

Much of the cash donated comes in the form of small contributions from readers wanting to remember lost loved ones.

It is also supported by larger events, including the Light Up A Life service held in Leeds each Christmas.

Kerry Jackson, chief executive at St Gemma’s, said: “It is so heartwarming to know that the support is maintained, year after year, in large and small donations.

“The money donated over the years through the Half and Half Appeal has made such a big difference – it is only through the support of local people that St Gemma’s has supported around 50,000 patients and families over the last 40 years.”

Kate Bratt-Farrar, hospice director at Wheatfields, said: “It is difficult to put into words how much the support of the Half and Half Appeal has benefited the hospice, and we continue to be immensely grateful to the YEP and all its readers for their generosity.

“The money raised over the years has been put to extremely good use here at Sue Ryder Wheatfields Hospice, with every penny helping to fund the care we provide to patients and their families at a time they need it the most.”