WATCH: NHS marchers gather support in Harrogate

A 300 mile protest march calling for the protection of the NHS passed through Harrogate today.

The people’s march for the NHS is following the 300 mile route of the historic Jarrow Crusade from Jarrow to Westminster passing through 23 towns and cities including Harrogate.

Marchers gather on the Stray in Harrogate

Marchers gather on the Stray in Harrogate

Aimee Jackson, a teacher at Henshaws School for the Blind in Harrogate joined the marchers from Harrogate to Leeds.

She said it was vital to raise awareness of the impact of NHS cuts.

“Some of my students are among the most vulnerable people in society. I have seen with my own eyes the impact changes in the NHS are having on them.

“They don’t know where to turn to get the vital support they need to live confidently.

“I am here today because it is difficult today, they don’t have a voice.”

She added: “It is difficult for them to manage their physical well being and mental health without being able to access the services they so desperately need.”

Marchers gathered on the Stray outside Harrogate Hospital on Friday (August 21) morning. Passing motorists tooted their horns in support and Aimee said the local support had been great.

“The reaction from people has been really positive, but I still don’t think people are quite fully aware.”

St Peter’s Church on Cambridge Street welcomed the marchers on Thursday night (August 20). St Peter’s curate Bernadette Hegarty chaired the meeting where Harrogate activist Lindis Percy and Knaresborough Green Party coordinator Shan Oakes spoke. She said: “There have been a lot of people supporting us in Harrogate, tooting their horns, cheering us on.”

Dr John Puntix, a paediatrician at the Leeds General Infirmary joined the march in Harrogate.

He said: “I am very worried about the impact of privatisation on my patients, most people I work with are worried.”

What do you think? Email