Support for £4.7m Woolverstone Macmillan Centre to treat cancer patients at Ipswich Hospital

Nick Hulme, chief executive of the Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust, Tony Godden, Simon Philips, fundraisi

Nick Hulme, chief executive of the Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust, Tony Godden, Simon Philips, fundraising director for Macmillan Cancer Support, Cheryl Thayer, chairman of the Macmillan Woolverstone Wish Fundraising group and GwynethTyler, Macmillan senior development manager. - Credit: Archant

Multimillion pound new cancer centre proposals for patients in Suffolk have been backed by business and community leaders at a fundraising launch night.

The £4.7 million Woolverstone Macmillan Centre, which is due to open at Ipswich Hospital in 2016, is hoped to treat 21,000 patients a year – more than double the current number, in more spacious surroundings.

Fundraising groups, businesses, medical staff and volunteers were among around 100 people at Milsoms Kesgrave Hall last week to help launch the Woolverstone Macmilllan Centre appeal. Guests at the event were also offered the first viewing of new images featuring the centre’s proposed interior.

Nick Hulme, chief executive of hospital’s trust said: “I am thrilled that because of the wonderful work in recent years of the Woolverstone Wish fundraising campaign and the partnership with Macmillan we are going to be able to provide the best possible care for cancer patients treated by the our hospital.”

Macmillan Cancer Support launched the appeal for £3.7 million following Ipswich Hospital Charitable Trust’s contribution of £1million towards the build.

Woolverstone Wish, which had contributed £800,000 to the Trust, has raised a further £50,000 since news of the project was first announced in November.

Cancer survivor Tony Godden told the audience he knew “for certain” he would be dead if it wasn’t for Ipswich Hospital and described the new centre as a “lifeline”.

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“When you realise that we have thousands of people that come into the centre for radiotherapy, chemotherapy, infusion or for a clinical purpose but all we can do is seat a limited number, it’s ridiculous,” he added.

“The new plans mean that we can seat many more which is wonderful and I’m thrilled beyond measure that we will be able to help so many more people.”

Simon Philips, fundraising director for Macmillan Cancer Support, praised the “extraordinary” efforts of its supporter to date and urged for that to continue.

“It is people like you, out and about in Suffolk, doing all sorts of fundraising activities that helps us work towards the day when no one locally will face cancer alone,” he said.

Gwyneth Tyler, Macmillan Senior Development Manager, said the centre would bring together outpatient chemotherapy, oncology and haematology services to deliver a “state-of-the-art future for patients and staff”.