Duke opens cancer centre

A BRIGHT new future for the support of cancer patients and their families is today preparing to welcome its first visitors.The new Cancer Information Centre at Ipswich Hospital was officially unveiled by the Duke of Kent during a visit to the town.

A BRIGHT new future for the support of cancer patients and their families is today preparing to welcome its first visitors.

The new Cancer Information Centre at Ipswich Hospital was officially unveiled by the Duke of Kent during a visit to the town.

The opening of the centre marked the end of fundraising by Cancer Campaign In Suffolk, which started work on the project in 1998.

In 2003, The Evening Star announced its support for the project and launched the Raise the Roof appeal, which thanks to the kindness and generosity of our readers has been one of the most successful campaigns to date.


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Kind-hearted readers really got behind the campaign and donations were soon flooding in to help reach our target of £100,000.

The centre, in the grounds of Ipswich Hospital, will be a unique place where cancer patients, their families, carers and friends can go to research the disease.

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The centre will be open to all and offers a wide range of information about cancer, its symptoms, treatments and cure.

There are also quiet rooms where families can talk and, thanks to Evening Star readers, a room where people can have complementary therapies.

After touring the centre and meeting fundraisers, the Duke was joined by CCIS chairman Jonathan Ripman for the opening ceremony.

Mr Ripman thanked fundraisers – including the Evening Star - for their hard work. He also singled out Graham Lockwood, who founded campaign group MAST and has helped raise thousands of pounds.

Mr Lockwood has cancer and in March 2003 was given just weeks to live.

Yesterday, Mr Lockwood proudly shook hands with the Duke and told how MAST had also raised enough funds to pay for a treatment room at the centre.

Speaking of the Raise the Roof campaign, Mr Ripman said: "This building is a testament to the generosity of the people of Suffolk.

"It has enabled us to build this centre and fund the resources to fight cancer."

Before unveiling a plaque, the Duke said: "I would like to say what a pleasure it has been to see this centre and it is particularly cheering to hear it has been such a co-operative effort.

"It is a wonderful story and I do congratulate you."

The Duke also paid a visit to Oak House in Stutton, a new sheltered housing scheme.

The £3.5 million scheme is funded by Babergh District Council, housing association Housing 21 and Suffolk County Council.

Oak House provides 36 flats for rent and two for respite care.

Do you think the centre will make a big difference to cancer patients?

Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4

1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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