Rob Burrow MND centre location revealed as appeal passes £3m mark
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The work at Seacroft Hospital in Leeds begins less than one week after former Leeds Rhinos captain Kevin Sinfield finished his 300-mile Ultra 7 in 7 challenge, which directly benefits the new centre being built in his old teammate’s name.
Pontefract’s Rob and Lindsey Burrow, together with Rob’s parents Geoff and Irene, clinical staff, and several charity funders, were present to mark the moment that the enabling works began. The family have become champions for all those living with motor neurone disease (MND) since Rob’s was diagnosed with the incurable condition in 2019.
The site at Seacroft is the preferred location of staff and MND patients for a new centre to be built, once the fundraising target has been reached.
Dr Agam Jung, the consultant neurologist who leads the MND team at Seacroft Hospital, said: “This is an exciting moment. We’ve been speaking to our patients and working closely with the MND care
team to think about the vision for what we need from a new MND centre and how it will benefit those who are touched by the service in the region. Seacroft is where we currently run our clinic and our
patients are familiar with it, it’s also close to green spaces and is easily accessible by the main roads.
“The ethos of the Leeds MND Service of enabling MND patients to ‘live in the now’ will be reflected in the build. The vision is to provide hope and optimism and set standards of MND Care delivery nationally.”
The Burrow family and Leeds Hospitals Charity began the £5m appeal to raise funds for the new facility back in September 2021, with proceeds from the Ultra 7 in 7 challenge bringing the current fundraising total to more than £3m.
The charity’s chief executive, Esther Wakeman, said: “We’re hugely grateful to everyone who supported Kevin Sinfield on his Ultra Challenge last week and we are now £1m closer to our fundraising target. This is an incredible effort. However, we’ve still got a way to go.
“The site at Seacroft Hospital is our preferred location for the new Rob Burrow Centre for Motor Neurone Disease, but we still need to raise all of the money before this specialist centre can become a reality. If anyone has been inspired by Kevin’s recent efforts, there’s still time to run the Rob Burrow Leeds Marathon or Half Marathon next May and raise funds directly for the centre.”
The work taking place on site now includes the demolition of the Old Matron’s House, a former nurse’s accommodation, supported by specialist ecological advisors. Materials from the demolition will be recycled where possible.
Simultaneously, the competition to select an architect is continuing. Just under 30 expressions of interest have been submitted, with those shortlisted expected to present design concepts in the new year.
Visit www.leedshospitalscharity.org.uk/mnd-centre-appeal to make a donation or head to www.runforall.com/events/marathon/leeds-marathon/ to sign up for the Rob Burrow Marathon.