Woolverstone Wing cancer centre fundraising campaign at Ipswich Hospital hits £1.25m in 18 months
A brand new cancer centre opening in Ipswich soon has been boosted by a fundraising campaign which has raised more than a third of its £3.7million target in just 18 months.
The Woolverstone Macmillan Centre is set to bring together outpatient chemotherapy, oncology and haematology day services at the town’s hospital when it throws open its doors in the coming weeks.
The appeal was launched in November 2014 by Macmillan Cancer Support, Ipswich Hospital and Woolverstone Wish, a fundraising group which identified the need for a revamped cancer centre seven years ago.
The group of hospital staff, volunteers, patients and their loved ones raised £800,000 over five years but this was followed by Macmillan identifying an opportunity to turn the refurbished centre it into a brand new £4.7m treatment centre.
A new appeal was launched in order to raise the remaining £3.7m, with £1.25m now in the bank.
Cheryl Thayer, chairman of the Woolverstone Wish group, said: “I can’t believe we’ve come so far. It was a huge achievement for the committee when we raised that first £800,000 – fast forward 18 months and together with Macmillan we’re now £1.25m closer to a whole new cancer centre. It’s something we couldn’t have dreamed of seven years ago.
“We know it’s amazing that we’ve raised so much already, but we need to keep that £3.7m target in our sights.”
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Amanda Jordan, area fundraising manager for Suffolk and Norfolk at Macmillan Cancer Support, said the dream of transforming cancer services in Suffolk had captured the hearts and minds of local individuals and businesses.
“We are incredibly proud to have reached this point just a year and a half into the appeal,” she said.
“On behalf of Macmillan I’d like to extend heartfelt thanks to all of those who have contributed to the appeal so far.
“But we still have a long way to go to reach our goal. We’re urging the people of Suffolk and beyond to continue getting behind our campaign. Whether it’s hosting a coffee morning, running a marathon, or putting on an event, every little counts and we will be there to support you every step of the way.”
More than £38,000 of the money raised so far came from Frankie Shelley, a 25-year-old who works at Rococco Hair and Beauty Salon in Ipswich.
She was inspired by the Ladies Who Care fundraising group after friends and three family members were diagnosed with cancer and treated on the Woolverstone Wing.
“A family friend was diagnosed with cancer and we decided to do a charity ball, and it’s all progressed from there,” she explained. “Daddy hadn’t been diagnosed before the first event; it wasn’t until the second ball, two years later, that he was diagnosed with throat cancer.
“My grandma was also later diagnosed with breast cancer and my uncle has had skin cancer.
“Organising events through the Ladies Who Care, has helped us all to cope with the situation; you’ve got to do something to help, that’s what drives you through.”
Ms Shelley said that on visits to the wing to see her father it was clear how much it needed to be refurbished.
She is organising a fashion show as a fundraiser for Woolverstone Wish on May 18. Held at Aurora Bar and Restaurant there is a lunchtime and evening sitting. Tickets cost £29.50 and include a complimentary glass of prosecco, a goodie bag, a two-course meal, a catwalk show and a raffle.
Tickets can be purchased by calling Aurora on 01473 857 027. If anyone would like to donate raffle prizes, please send them to Frankie at Rococco Hair and Beauty Salon, 478 Felixstowe Road, Ipswich, IP38SU.