Cancer centre project at Ipswich Hospital reaches major milestone as work gets under way thanks to Wolverstone Wish fundraisers
Work is at last under way on a long-awaited and desperately needed new £3.7million state-of-the-art cancer centre – after a stunning past 12 months of fundraising.
More than £1.5m has now been raised towards the project at Ipswich Hospital, with £500,000 of that coming in the last year.
Fundraisers behind the Woolverstone Macmillan Centre Appeal are now confident the total needed will be reached and so construction has started, with the buildings set to be finished by the spring.
It will provide new consultation and examination rooms, treatment bays, and offices, with a cancer information unit – which was the hope of the original Woolverstone Wish appeal when it was launched six years ago – at the heart of it.
Nick Hulme, chief executive of The Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust, said the project would bring together outpatient chemotherapy, oncology and haemataology day services, and “significantly increase” the number of people who can be treated each year. It will also alleviate cramped conditions suffered by staff and patients and provide a pleasant environment allowing them privacy and dignity.
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He said: “The people in east Suffolk deserve the very best in cancer care and this new centre will provide state-of-the-art facilities. My thanks to everyone who has helped us reach this milestone today.”
Macmillan Cancer Support teamed up with the hospital trust a year ago to relaunch the appeal for the cancer centre.
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Mandy Jordan, fundraising manager for the charity in Suffolk, said: “The local community has really got behind us – the support is really heart-warming to see.
“It’s been incredible what has been achieved so far by joining forces with Ipswich Hospital and Woolverstone Wish, whose original vision of a refurbished Woolverstone Wing inspired this appeal.
“While we’ve achieved a great deal already, there’s stil a long way to go – I urge people to keep digging deep to help us make this much-needed centre a reality.”
Cheryl Thayer, chairman of the original Woolverstone Wish appeal, said the group could never have imagined that in six years the total raised would stand at £1.5m.
She said: “We’re so grateful to everyone who has supported the appeal so far – we urge the community to keep up their incredible generosity so we can provide people affected by cancer and hospital staff with the facilities they rightly deserve.”