THE Comet has thrown its weight behind Macmillan Cancer Support’s £1.5 million fundraising appeal to create a new cancer centre at Lister Hospital.

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The current award-winning chemotherapy unit, based at the Stevenage hospital, is finding it difficult to meet the needs of people with cancer in east and north Herts.

Around 10,000 people are living with cancer in this area and 1,500 people are diagnosed with cancer every year.

Comet editor Darren Isted said: “The exciting new plans for the Lister Macmillan Cancer Centre, including nearly doubling the Lister’s chemotherapy capacity and reducing very cramped conditions, will ensure our community has the best possible support and facilities available.”

The £2.9 million Lister Macmillan Cancer Centre – half of which will be funded by grants – is being built in partnership with the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust.

It will include consistent access to a team of Macmillan welfare benefits advisors who can help patients with their financial worries, and hold more consultation rooms to allow patients more privacy.

There will also be more working areas for Lister nurses and staff to prepare drugs, in a bid to improve efficiency and reduce waiting times, as well as a dedicated information and support centre for patients and families, and gardens for patients to relax in while undergoing treatment.

Kerry Briars, fundraising manager for Macmillan in Hertfordshire, said: “We have set ourselves a huge fundraising target for the Lister Macmillan Cancer Centre so that no one in east and north Hertfordshire will face cancer alone. We want to raise enough money so that cancer patients, their families and friends benefit from the best possible facility.

“We are thrilled with the support from the Comet. We are hoping that individuals, schools, business and community groups will help us to transform cancer care in our region.”

Donations to the Lister Macmillan Cancer Centre can be made online at www.macmillan.org.uk/lister or to Lister Macmillan Cancer Centre Appeal, c/o Supporter Donations, Macmillan Cancer Support, FREEPOST LON15851, 89 Albert Embankment, London, SE1 7UQ.

Alternatively, you can donate direct from your mobile by texting “Lister£5” to 70550 (for a £5 donation) or £10 by texting “Lister£10” to 70550. Texts cost your standard rate plus your donation. Macmillan will receive 95p of every £1 donated in this way.

People can also call 0300 1000 200 for information on fundraising or email fundraising@ macmillan.org.uk

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