A CANCELLED hospital drive-by that was due to take place as part of the ‘Clap For Carers’ initiative had no malicious intent, according to one of the would-be event’s participants.

David Mills, who owns Yorkshire Rose Holidays, was asked to get involved with the drive-by last week, something he thought would have been a nice touch to show appreciation for those working on the frontline at the hospital.

But the company received some backlash following their social media posts, which had been shared hundreds of times, and seen by over 100,000 people.

He said: “We were asked by a major haulage company if we’d like to get involved to show our support to the key workers, and of course this is something we thought would be a good idea.

“But we wanted to do something more for the staff at the hospital, so we decided to try and raise some money for them as well.

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“We managed to raise around £900 after we shared it on our Facebook page, but some people thought that what we were doing was against the law, and started commenting on ours and other people’s pages.”

The 39-year-old said he was in contact with the police before the event was due to take place, but as it drew closer, officers warned him of the fines that could be handed out should vehicles be stopped.

“Everyone was mainly supportive of the event, but we did have a few who didn’t like it, and I can understand their reasoning behind their opinions,” he told the Chronicle.

“I’d already spoken to the police, who originally didn’t see a problem with it, but as the numbers grew they decided to put a halt to it and they came to my yard and explained this to us.

“I understand why they did this and so I let the organisers know, who quickly cancelled the event.”

It came after a series of events had taken place at Barnsley Hospital on Thursday evenings, where groups of people attended and not followed social distancing measures.

Both the police and hospital received backlash from the past events, and so upon hearing of the drive-by, decided to stop it as soon as they could.

A spokesman for Barnsley Hospital said: “We were aware that an event had been arranged around the hospital and surrounding areas and, although we do really appreciate support, we ask that people do not visit the hospital site itself to clap for our incredible heroes.

“The event had not been arranged by Barnsley Hospital and, just as we asked recently, we want to reduce the number of people clapping at the hospital site in support of social distancing measures currently in place.”

David wants to arrange something similar in the future, once lockdown is over, to show his support for the staff at Barnsley Hospital, and hopes that this is something that people will be just as keen to get involved with.

“I want to reiterate that this whole event wasn’t done maliciously, we just wanted to do something for the hospital, there were only good intentions,” he added.

“We had a few people messaging us asking where we were, and I know a few of the nurses were looking forward to seeing us, so we’re hoping we can see some of the same support in the future.

“Hopefully in the future we can do something like this, potentially raising more money for charity and ending in a fun day back at our new yard in Mapplewell.”

A spokesperson for South Yorkshire Police said: “Last Thursday we received reports of a planned vehicle convoy around Barnsley.

“Our local policing team in Barnsley worked closely with the organisers to remind them of government guidelines around essential travel and gatherings.

“The convoy was promptly cancelled.

“Enhanced police patrols were carried out across the town last Thursday, and no further concerns were raised.”