A BARNSLEY Hospital volunteer will set off on a 180-mile walk in memory of his granddaughter.

Jeff Cole, from Hoylandswaine, starts the walk on Sunday and will continue on a selection of different local routes up to March 6.

The 55-year-old, who is a serial fundraiser for Barnsley Hospital Charity, is walking for Esther Grace Spencer Cole - who died in March 2018 at just a few weeks old.

On March 4, 2018, she was admitted to Barnsley Hospital’s emergency department and then to Sheffield Children’s Hospital with a Strep B meningitis infection where she died two days later.

Jeff’s second granddaughter, Elsie Grace, was born on February 6, 2019 and was cared for by Barnsley’s neonatal unit.

One year to the day of Esther’s passing - and in a frighteningly similar situation - Elsie was admitted to Barnsley’s emergency department and then the children’s ward, also suffering from a Strep B infection.

Under the dedicated care of the doctors and nurses, Elsie made a full recovery and is now a healthy five-year-old.

Jeff said: “Money raised will be donated to Barnsley Hospital’s neonatal unit and children’s ward funds in appreciation of their fantastic care and support given to our family.”

Jane Mills, charity development manager, added: “When Jeff first approached us about fundraising and shared his story we were incredibly moved.

“Our volunteers give so much to the hospital already and for Jeff to be also doing this fundraising in memory of Esther is truly inspirational.”