AN Otley-based charity is hoping to sweep the boards in the Yorkshire Choice awards after racking up an amazing three nominations.

Hug on a Tray is nominated in the Charitable Excellence Award, while founder Lesley Noble has nominations in the Volunteer of the Year and Local Fundraiser of the Year categories.

A spokesperson for Hug on a Tray said it was a recognition of “all of the hard work that Lesley and her committed team of volunteers put towards supplying free TV and goodies for cancer patients in Bexley Wing, St James’s hospital Leeds”.

The Yorkshire Choice Awards honour the county’s finest and were founded by Joanne Maltby and Melanie Malcolm. They saw an opportunity to recognise and raise the awareness of local people and independent businesses that are inspirational in their own way or in the markets they serve.

Care Secure, Otley, is also up for two awards in the Community Arts award and the New Starter Business of the Year categories.

Each award winner is decided by a public online vote, which is now live until April 12.

The winners will be announced during The Yorkshire Choice Awards Gala Dinner on June 7 at The Centenary Pavilion, Elland Road.

Hug on a Tray is a group of volunteers who visit the Bexley Wing at St James’s Hospital in Leeds and make life better for those who are spending time in hospital.

Lesley Noble, a chaplaincy volunteer, came up with the idea for the group when she was visiting ward J88 at Christmas 2016 and noticed all the free TV access had been replaced with a new system costing patients £7.50 a day to access.

Lesley said: “This felt totally unfair. It so happened around that same time I had formed a new social group for women in Otley to get together, share friendship, meals and outings, etc. We named ourselves the ‘Chevin Socialites’.

“And we decided to do a bit of fundraising to help pay for some free TV for patients on J88 over the Christmas period. The response from the ‘Girls’ was fabulous, and we raised enough, not just for one ward but two, J88 & J89.”

Hug on a Tray came when Lesley had a “lightbulb moment” when another charity, Leeds Friends of Leukaemia, donated kettles to the patients on those wards.

She said: “If there’s a kettle in the rooms, well maybe we could donate, not just for the patients but their visiting families and friends, free teabags, coffee, milk, biscuits, cups and a tray. They could all help themselves.

“We then overspilled our provision to put a free tea/coffee/biscuits station in the outpatients department J87.

“Hug on a Tray was born. We have continued to pay for free TV for both wards since then.”

Hug on a Tray fundraises constantly to meet the costs of what they provide for patients and visitors at the hospital, and constantly relies on donations.

In November 2021 the charity realised a dream of opening the ‘Hug on a Tray Hub’, a charity shop in Manor Square, Otley, which is also a meeting place to host events and social gatherings to aid the cause.

Lesley said: “We are always so appreciative of donations that have helped us since then. We love what we do, the people we meet, and don’t want to stop any time soon.”

The cost of providing free TV is a massive £26,000 a year, and then every patient in single rooms receives on arrival in hospital, their Hug on a Tray care package including a tray, cups and a goodie bag with everything needed for them and their visiting families to make a hot drink and have snacks.

They also make sure that every patient receives a Christmas goodie bag with toiletries, various gifts and chocolates

Lesley added: “We pay for everything from paper cups (average £55 a week) to everything that’s needed in outpatients, such as spoons, coffee, sugar, milk, hot chocolate, Horlicks, cuppa soups, pot noodles, biscuits, plain and chocolate, mini cheddars, sweets and chocolates, fruit juices, etc. All tea is provided free by Taylors of Harrogate.”

To vote in the Yorkshire Choice Awards, go to