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Welcome to Yorkshire Commit to Planting a Thousand Trees and Honour Paralympian Hannah Cockroft and Calderdale Key Workers

A truly humbling and inspirational day, as Welcome to Yorkshire had the pleasure of presenting Yorkshire Paralympian Hannah Cockcroft with an honorary My Y personal membership in her hometown of Halifax, recognising her achievements in sport (5x Paralympic Champion, 12x World Champion & T34 World record holder) and for being such a wonderful Yorkshire ambassador. The team at Overgate Hospice in Calderdale, also received My Y personal membership for their dedication and hard work, particularly during the pandemic.

A tree will be planted in Yorkshire as part of each individual membership … and blooming great news … Hannah’s dedicated tree and the 130 awarded to the tree-mendous team at Overgate Hospice, has meant that in just one month since the successful launch of Welcome to Yorkshire’s My Y membership scheme, a thousand trees are to be planted in the county, with more to come.

Welcome to Yorkshire’s global membership scheme My Y was launched on 1st August 2020 (Yorkshire Day, of course) and as well as having a tree planted, the option to receive a much-coveted green Y badge, there’s also lots of exciting Yorkshire extras. The scheme aims to engage with Yorkshire folk across the globe and anyone with a connection to or a love of the county.

Paralympian Hannah Cockroft saidI’m thrilled to receive honorary Welcome to Yorkshire My Y membership and to have a tree planted in this fantastic county that I love so much. Appreciating and enjoying all the outdoors has to offer is so important for health and well-being, and is such a big part of my life, especially when training. I was supposed to be at the Paralympics in Tokyo now, but instead I’ve had a fantastic day alongside the top team of tireless workers at Overgate Hospice in Halifax, whose dedication to those in need has been rightly rewarded.”  

Janet Cawtheray, chief executive,  Overgate Hospice “The last few months have been tricky times for everyone during the coronavirus crisis, but the team here at Overgate Hospice have worked so hard throughout and for 130 staff to receive honorary Welcome to Yorkshire My Y membership has been amazing and very much appreciated. It’s been a lovely day for the team, especially meeting the inspirational Hannah Cockroft and to receive recognition for all they’ve done during a particularly difficult few months.

The outdoors and gardens mean so much to patients here and to their families, who can spend vital and important time in the fresh air together, so for the team to have trees dedicated to them is something very special. I know they’ll all be wearing their green Y badges with pride too.”

Welcome to Yorkshire Chief Executive James Mason said It was great to spend time with such positive and amazing Yorkshire people today and to see how pleased Hannah Cockroft and the team at Overgate Hospice are to receive their Welcome to Yorkshire My Y honorary membership and have trees dedicated to them. All proud Yorkshire individuals who give so much back.

We’ve had an overwhelming response to the membership launched on Yorkshire Day. We couldn’t be prouder to have such well-known and respected names like Paralympian Hannah Cockroft, as well as Captain Sir Tom Moore, Sir Patrick Stewart and Amanda Owen the Yorkshire Shepherdess as the honorary members, and we’re just delighted that so many others have already followed in their Yorkshire footsteps.

We’re aware of the huge diaspora of Yorkshire folk across the globe and the immense love people have for this part of the world, but what we hadn’t anticipated were the truly heart-warming stories about why people are signing up and what it means to have those ties to our brilliant county. For example, a group of grandchildren who’ve dedicated a tree to their great grandfather who died in WWI and is buried in Gaza. They wanted a permanent memorial to him locally that they could visit. 

The idea really seems to have caught the public’s imagination and we’re thrilled to have reached such a milestone in such a short space of time and engaged with so many people across all generations who love our county as much as we do. A thousand trees will create around a hectare of woodland – the size of a rugby pitch so why stop there?! How many can we plant?”

Inspired by the many personal stories received, Welcome to Yorkshire has now added an option to donate a tree to a person or a group who may be deserving of the gift.

The White Rose Forest and its partner Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust have confirmed the initial land allocation at Shoe Gate Wood in Nidderdale with further sites to be announced in East, South and West Yorkshire.

Guy Thompson, partnership manager at the White Rose Forest said We’re delighted that Welcome to Yorkshire’s partnered up with our Trees for Yorkshire campaign, meaning more trees will be planted creating new woodlands and a lasting legacy across our landscape.

“This fantastic scheme means people can enjoy their own little piece of Yorkshire, wherever they are in the world while also highlighting the importance of trees and the benefits they bring not only to our environment but also our health and well-being, which is needed now, more than ever.”

Playing an important part in combatting climate change, trees remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and every six trees can help to absorb up to a tonne of carbon over a 50-year lifespan. It is estimated that 1000 trees could help to offset more than 160 tonnes of carbon over 50 years.