Last night saw the official launch of a £1.3 million fundraising appeal for a new cancer centre planned for East Surrey Hospital.
With the BBC’s Nicholas Owen hosting proceedings, cancer patients and Macmillan professionals shared inspiring stories and provided insight into plans for the new centre. Guests at the event, held at Reigate Grammar School, were also able to view architectural designs for the state-of-the-art building, as well as being encouraged to make pledges to help raise the vital funds.
Cancer patient Gill Burch (53), from Redhill, spoke at the event and said of the new service:
“I know that I would have benefitted so much from having a local Macmillan Cancer Information Centre – it would have made such a difference, so I really hope that the money to build one at East Surrey Hospital will be found very soon.”
Carol Fenton, Macmillan General Manager for London, Anglia and the South East, who also made a speech on the night, added:
“Today marks the first step on a very exciting journey. Macmillan believes that no-one should face cancer alone and this new centre for East Surrey will go a long way to ensure that no one does. But we will need all the invaluable support of the local community to raise the £1.3million to make this much-needed resource a reality.
“There are so many ways you can help and every penny really will make a huge difference. Everyone will be affected by cancer at some point in their lives – this is your centre and it will be here to help you, your friends or family in the future.”
Jane Penny, Lead Cancer Nurse for Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, said:
”The centre will provide an opportunity and space to talk to somebody; so that you know you are not alone. You are not isolated – there are other people out there who are going through something similar. We’ll be able to help people that are struggling and together we can support them through it.”
Helene Poursain, Macmillan Area Fundraising Manager for Surrey and Kent, appealed to local residents to get involved:
“Nothing like this exists at the moment for people affected by cancer in East Surrey and we’re delighted to be working with the Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust on this vital service. We’ve got big plans for the centre and we need the region to really get behind the appeal and help us raise the £1.3million.
“It’s a big target but I am confident that with the support and enthusiasm of the people of Surrey we can reach our target and build this fantastic facility.
“There are loads of ways to support our appeal, for example making a one off personal donation, getting your workplace or social club to hold events for us, or even taking on a personal challenge like a half marathon or sponsored cycle ride.”
In partnership with the Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, and working closely with The Olive Tree Cancer Support Centre in Crawley, the East Surrey Macmillan Cancer Support Centre will offer patients, family, friends and carers a range of services including:
- information and advice on coping with cancer and its treatment
- counselling services
- financial advice and support
- complementary therapies; including reflexology and reiki
- cancer support groups
- exercise programmes
- a range of classes to support those during and after treatment
Designed by experts and people affected by cancer, the centre will provide all-round support in a calm, non-clinical environment, with the simple goal of helping people affected by cancer to live their lives as well as possible.
The new centre, scheduled to open in late 2015, will offer the very best in holistic care and support in the heart of the community; putting an end to the added stress on cancer patients who have to take at least a 20-mile round trip to the nearest cancer support centre in Crawley, or even further afield to Guildford or Purley.
To get involved and help raise £1.3 million to build The East Surrey Macmillan Cancer Support Centre:
Call the Macmillan Surrey fundraising office on 0300 1000 200
Visit the website: www.macmillan.org.uk/donate/macmillan-projects/east-surrey.html