It is a moment that had been five long years in the making. Now work on Southampton’s new specialist Teenage Cancer Unit has finally got under way, in front of a delighted audience including former young cancer patients who helped design the centre.
A turf-cutting ceremony marked the start of building work on the £2.4m project, which will serve youngsters aged 16-24 in Hampshire, Dorset, the Channel Islands, South Wiltshire, the Isle of Wight and West Sussex.
The Daily Echo-backed campaign aims to create a state-of-the-art ten-bed unit for cancer patients, which will be based at Southampton General Hospital. 
Chief executive of the Teenage Cancer Trust, Simon Davies, called the start of the building work “an exciting moment”.
He said: “The local community has been incredibly supportive and although we have raised a significant amount already towards this unit we still need a further £400,000 and ask them to support us in our final push for funds.”
To donate to the Teenage Cancer Trust, email or call 07943 923549.