Fundraising team hoping to raise £5million

Daily Echo: Merv Rees Merv Rees

THE fundraising campaign to help create a cancer treatment centre is picking up pace – with more than £40,000 raised so far.

The team behind the ambitious plans are hoping to raise £5million of the £18.5m total through public fundraising.

Consultant surgeon Mr Merv Rees, who is leading The Ark Cancer Charity fundraising campaign, said: “Our fundraising activity is only really getting started now, and this is a very promising sign of things to come.”

Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (HHFT) is hoping to open the north Hampshire centre by early 2016.

The precise location is yet to be confirmed but it will be built in the area of land encircled by the A34, A303 and the M3.

It will provide radiotherapy for cancer patients, who currently have to travel to Southampton or Guildford for the treatment, closer to home, and will also provide chemotherapy, palliative care and other therapies, along with information, advice and psychological support.

The centre will be the second phase of a project to bring cancer treatments closer to local patients. It will begin with the opening of a £5m interim radiotherapy unit at Basingstoke hospital early next year.

HHFT will fund £13.5m of the project, which will cover the cost of the interim radiotherapy unit and will go some way towards meeting the £13.5m needed to create the cancer treatment centre.

The public are being called upon to raise the remaining £5m, which will go towards giving the north Hampshire centre the ‘wow’ factor.

Charities including RadCan and North Hampshire Medical Fund are assisting with vital fundraising for specific pieces of equipment.

Mr Rees, clinical director of surgery at HHFT, said: “We are extremely grateful for the offers of support from the local community since we publically stated our commitment to fundraise for the new cancer treatment centre at the end of last year.

“I am honoured and humbled to hear that some of the largest donations have been made in memory of former patients, by family members and friends who want to help us build on the excellent care and treatment we provide.”

The Ark Cancer Charity is now looking for ambassadors willing to lead fundraising activities in their local community. For more information, or to make a donation, visit .

n See Thursday’s Gazette to find out how five consultants will be using pedal power to help the fundraising campaign.

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