Weston Park Cancer Charity goes the extra mile for Barnsley cancer patients

A cancer diagnosis is a very difficult thing for anyone to hear. But imagine that the recommended treatment is miles away from your home and you have no ability to make that journey.

For people in Barnsley, a free twice-daily travel service has been launched by Weston Park Cancer Charity to transport people from Oakwell Stadium to treatment at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals. 

Travel concerns can be a real bump in the road for cancer patients, especially when they may require daily treatment for chemotherapy or radiotherapy for weeks on end.

For people living in Barnsley, the treatment facilities are 15 miles away in Sheffield and there is no direct public transport link. And with rising taxi fares and transport costs, it can cause great financial worries.

The Barnsley transport service began in December to reduce any financial or practical barriers Barnsley people may have to accessing cancer treatment. There are now ten volunteer drivers who operate the return service twice a day at 9am and 1.30pm Monday to Friday. The service is invaluable to reduce the stressful journey to Sheffield and a significant way to help reduce costs associated with travel.

Matt Hadley, transport coordinator at Weston Park Cancer Charity, said: “We don’t want anyone to ever have to face the decision to decline treatment because travel to and from their appointments is the barrier. We’re extremely grateful for our incredible team of volunteers and to everybody who has supported the launch of this priceless new service.”

The service has been supported by Barnsley FC, Barnsley Council, Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, and the South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw ICS Cancer Alliance. There has also been considerable donations and sponsorship from Barnsley folk, including legendary cricket umpire Dickie Bird.

Another supporter is Jean Cryne, the widow of former Barnsley FC owner Patrick Cryne who passed away from cancer in 2018.

Jean said: “My family experienced care and compassion of Weston Park Cancer Charity first-hand, and I am humbled that we are in a position to sponsor this service and give something back that will benefit so many. Together with the football club, the people of Barnsley meant a great deal to Patrick – the two fit hand-in-hand. He would be immensely proud that this free service, based at Oakwell, will aid thousands of Barnsley-based cancer patients across the coming years.”

For more information on the Barnsley transport service, call Weston Park Cancer Charity’s helpline on 0114 553 3330 (Option Two) or email transport@wpcancercharity.org.uk.