Heckmondwike’s mini Postman Pat van raises vital funds for Yorkshire Cancer Research

Date: 14 October 2020

A mini Postman Pat van that has brought smiles to the people of Heckmondwike is now helping to raise vital funds for Yorkshire Cancer Research. 

Alton Tyrell has become a local celebrity in the West Yorkshire town after turning a mobility scooter into a little replica Royal Mail van.

The 40-year-old came up with the idea after stumbling upon an old Postman Pat coin machine on eBay while looking for a scooter for his father-in-law, Terry Kirton, earlier this year. 

After restoring the van to its former glory during lockdown, Alton began driving it around town – much to the delight of the local community.

Alton with mini Postman Pat van

The story hit headlines across the region, with videos on BBC Look North and other local news outlets reaching more than one million views.

Sadly, Terry was diagnosed with cancer and passed away aged 76 in July, so Alton has now decided to put his new-found fame to good use by asking those who see the van to donate to Yorkshire Cancer Research or Marie Curie.

“I thought the ‘Pat van’ idea would be fun and keep me busy throughout the lockdown. My first trip out was to the local McDonald’s drive-thru. The response on social media was amazing. Everyone said how it made them smile in these sad times."

Mini Postman Pat van next to Royal Mail vans

“After Terry died, I decided to appeal to the community to make a small donation to charity if they spot the van. Last month I also lost a good friend Nicholas Mark Holroyd to cancer at the age of just 36, so these cancer charities are close to my heart. 

“They do amazing work and I hope my little Pat van will not only put a smile on people’s faces but also help give something back to these great causes.”

To make a donation, visit Alton's JustGiving page.

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