A TEAM of colleagues and loved ones are tackling a mammoth charity challenge in memory of a consultant who dedicated his career to helping others.

John Hindmarsh was a prominent figure in the local health community, spending much of his career at the Friarage and James Cook hospitals as a consultant urologist.

He was diagnosed with MSA (Multiple Systems Atrophy) in 2014 and died aged 73 in February this year.

MSA is a rare progressive neurological disease that currently has no cure and Mr Hindmarsh’s loved ones pledged to do something to raise awareness and funding for research into the condition.

His daughter, Rachel Williams, co-owns Thirsk-based hygiene services company TWC with husband Martin and their staff are supporting the family in taking on the Lyke Wake Walk for charity.

The walk, a 40-mile route across the North York Moors, is raising funds for the Multiple Systems Atrophy Trust - and the 18-strong group hope to complete it within 24 hours.

Mrs Williams said: “We knew nothing about the disease at the time but have witnessed its cruel nature and the speed in which it takes hold.

“With the wonderful support of the TWC team, friends and family, we would like to raise awareness of the disease and raise as much as possible for The Multiple Systems Atrophy Trust by walking the Lyke Wake Walk, so that one day, others don’t have to go through the same ordeal.”

The walk started from Osmotherly in the west, to Ravenscar on the eastern coast of North Yorkshire and the team are planning to cover it within 24 hours.

The group set off at around 10pm last night and will walk through the night with the aim of reaching Ravenscar by this evening.

They have smashed their online fundraising target of £5,000, with more than £5,500 raised so far.

Mr Williams said he now has ambitions to hit £7,000 and he praised his staff for embracing the charity challenge.

The group have been training hard, tackling sections of the walk and hitting the gym to ensure that they are fighting fit for the walk.

To support the cause, donations can be made online at mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/twcgroup