Work begins on Rob Burrow Centre for MND in Leeds

THE first step towards the construction of the Rob Burrow Centre for Motor Neurone Disease (MND) in Leeds has begun with demolition work getting underway last week.

Leeds Hospitals Charity have been raising funds for a specialist centre bearing the name of former Leeds Rhinos and England star Burrow, who was diagnosed with MND in 2019.

The centre will provide dedicated care and support to people living with MND and their families, and would be the first of its kind in Europe.

The current facility for MND is on a multi-purpose ward at Seacroft Hospital, which does not have all of the capacity, technology and equipment needed.

The Old Matron’s House, formerly a nurse’s block at the hospital, is being demolished to make way for the Rob Burrow Centre.

The first demolition work took place last Friday, with Burrow and his wide Lindsey present alongside Rob’s parents, Geoff and Irene.

It follows the latest fundraising feats of Burrow’s former team-mate Kevin Sinfield, who completed seven ultra-marathons in seven days for MND charities including the new centre and has raised over £2 million.

Sinfield has now completed three such challenges, which have raised more than £7 million combined.

Despite the support provided by this fundraising to the Rob Burrow Centre, Leeds Hospitals Charity still require approximately £2 million in further funding to cover the cost of building the new £5 million facility. 

“We’re hugely grateful to everyone who supported Kevin Sinfield on his Ultra Challenge and we are now £1 million closer to our fundraising target,” said Esther Wakeman, CEO of Leeds Hospitals Charity.

“This is an incredible effort. However, we’ve still got a way to go.”

They suggest that one way to help raise further funds is to take part in the new Rob Burrow Leeds Marathon, which will take place on Sunday, May 14 next year alongside the existing Leeds Half Marathon.