Last week, Kevin Sinfield completed his fourth epic fundraising challenge 7 in 7 in 7 raising over £900,000 for five charities supporting people living with motor neurone disease (MND), Leeds Hospital’s Charity’s Appeal to build the Rob Burrow Centre for Motor Neurone Disease, Motor Neurone Disease Association, My Name’5 Doddie Foundation, Darby Rimmer Foundation and the Irish MND Association.

Kevin braved the elements along the way but didn’t give up on his quest to keep raising funds and awareness of the condition his friend and former teammate Rob Burrow was diagnosed with in 2019.

Leeds Hospitals Charity received 41% of funds raised through Sinfield’s challenge for their appeal to build the Rob Burrow Centre for Motor Neurone Disease at Seacroft Hospital. The charity has previously benefitted from over £2 million from Kevin’s previous fundraising endeavours, The Extra Mile and Ultra 7 in 7.

Read More: Sinfield set for new epic 7 in 7 in 7 challenge in support of MND community

Now, thanks to Kevin’s heroic fundraising efforts, the fundraising total to build the specialist MND centre in Leeds has now reached £5.3 million of its £6.8 million target. 

Esther Wakeman, CEO of Leeds Hospitals Charity said:

“To raise over £5 million in two years is incredible! The friendship between Kev and Rob has inspired a nation to support this very worthy cause. When we set out to raise £6.8 million for the Rob Burrow Centre for Motor Neurone Disease we knew it was an ambitious ask.”

“Kevin and his team’s determination to support people living with motor neurone disease and their families has been truly inspiring. It was really special to be part of the crowds of people who came to cheer Kevin on as he set off on the first day of his challenge from Headingley. Kevin and the team have braved freezing temperatures, wind, rain and more along the way, but nothing has stopped them in their tracks, and they have battled on to raise as much money and awareness as possible.”

“It’s thanks to Kevin’s inspirational fundraising efforts that we have now passed the £5 million fundraising milestone to help us make his friend Rob Burrow’s dream of a specialist MND centre in Leeds a reality. I am so grateful to every person who has supported Kevin Sinfield, donated and fundraised, thank you! ”

During Kevin’s challenge, the Burrow family visited Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust to meet with architects Corstorphine & Wright who were appointed to design the centre in Rob’s name this Summer.

Rob and Lindsey were joined by his parents Geoff and Irene and Rob’s sister’s Joanne and Claire for an update on the progress of the build.

Read More: A message from Geoff and Lindsey Burrow

Geoff Burrow told us: 

“When Rob was diagnosed there was no hope, but now I feel there is hope. This centre means the world to us. It’s a massive step forward to the future opening of the Rob Burrow Centre for Motor Neurone Disease which will be for all people living with MND and their families.”

“The centre is only possible thanks to everyone’s fundraising and kind donations, and we hope that continues until the doors are open and long after.”

Esther Wakeman and Dr Agam Jung stand in front of the hoardings with a quote from Rob that reads In a world full of adversity we must dare to dream.

Days before Kevin started his challenge, new hoardings were put up at Seacroft Hospital where the Rob Burrow Centre for Motor Neurone Disease will be built. The hoardings tell just some of the stories of people’s experiences with MND, including an uplifting message from Rob.

Following a series of stakeholder sessions with patients and staff, the new centre is currently being designed by architects Corstorphine & Wright and will be submitted for planning in the New Year.

Read More: New hospital hoardings bring MND stories to life ahead of new centre build

Craige Richardson, Director of Estates and Facilities, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

“Congratulations to Leeds Hospitals Charity for reaching this significant milestone and a big thank you to Kevin Sinfield and  his team, and all the wider supporters of the motor neurone disease campaign.”

“We have an excellent clinical service for MND patients here in Leeds, supporting those from across the city and the wider region, and our mission to create a new centre that reflects the care, the first of its kind in the country, is in full flow. The final design is being prepared ahead of planning approval and we’re confident that we’ll start building the new centre at Seacroft early next year.”


Read our Rob Burrow Centre for MND blog here