Dream of revolutionising Ipswich's cancer care moves a step closer after cash boost
PUBLISHED: 14:43 12 December 2018 | UPDATED: 14:43 12 December 2018
An ambitious £2.5million appeal to revolutionise cancer care in Ipswich by building a dedicated new state-of-the-art treatment centre has moved a step closer after nearly £300,000 was raised in its first year.
The Colchester and Ipswich Hospitals Charity launched the Blossom Appeal in October 2017 in a bid to bring breast cancer at Ipswich Hospital under one roof.
The community has rallied round the appeal, which aims to provide a relaxing environment where patients can be imaged, biopsied and see their clinician at the same time.
Currently patients have to visit three different locations during their care, which means they need to get dressed and undressed several times.
The appeal also hopes to provide new clinics specifically for men and young people.
By the end of November, the appeal had raised £285,944 – with money coming in all the time.
Head of charity Mandy Jordan said: “We have been overwhelmed by how many individuals, organisations and businesses have supported us.
“It’s a fantastic start and we are truly grateful to everyone who has held an event or taken part in a challenge for us.”
The campaign kicked off in October 2017 with a Bosom Bake-off competition.
This year Jemma Yarnton got the 2018 fundraising underway by taking part in a gruelling 24km SAS selection challenge, before a zumbathon at Wickham Market Primary School in March raised more than £1,100.
The charity held a three-day zip wire challenge in May 2018, where participants took descent from the top of the maternity tower at Ipswich Hospital.
Chief executive of East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust, Nick Hulme, completed the 192-mile Coast to Coast walk in memory of his wife, Annette, in June and July this year.
In September a charity ball at Toad Hall, near Ipswich, attended by more than 200 people raised more than £17,000.
Lead breast care nurse and key member of the Blossom Appeal team, Kim Collingridge, added: “Bringing all aspects of beast care together will have such a positive impact on the overall patient experience.
“The care given by the team is first class but the structure and layout of the clinics is simply no longer fit for purpose.
“The number of patients we treat is growing year on year so it’s crucial we have efficient and bespoke facilities to support this.
“Our vision is being made a reality by the very generous donations and support of the public.
“This is very humbling and I can’t express my gratitude enough. I can’t wait to see what the next year of fundraising brings.”
To get involved in the appeal, call the charity team on 01473 702929 or visit www.colchesteripswichcharity.org.uk/breast