Fundraisers get preview of new Lister Macmillan Cancer Centre

Staff and supporters of Lister Hospital

Staff and supporters of Lister Hospital - Credit: Archant

Macmillan supporters across Comet country have been given a sneak peek of a new cancer centre as a thank you for their support.

A celebration event was held by Macmillan Cancer Support – the Comet’s Charity of the Year – last week when supporters had the chance to see inside the new £3 million Lister Macmillan Cancer Centre.

Half of the money for the centre – which is due to open its doors to patients later this month – has been raised through Macmillan, with the other half funded by the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust, which manages the Lister Hospital site in Stevenage.

The cancer centre will double the hospital’s chemotherapy capacity and includes an information and support centre.

“We’ve been overwhelmed by the number of groups, individuals and businesses across Hertfordshire that have supported our fundraising appeal for the new Lister Macmillan Cancer Centre,” said Macmillan fundraising manager Kerry Cunnane.

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“Now that the centre is almost ready, it is an honour to be able to show these supporters around the new facility and get them together to say a huge thank you for their support.”

Supporter Guy Osbourne was among those who attended after family and friends raised £13,000 by holding a variety of fundraising events, including a 50km walk along the River Thames.

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He said: “The fundraisers were in memory of my wife Bernie, who fought cancer for a year but then succumbed to it last January. We felt the existing cancer facilities at the Lister Hospital, where she was treated, were woeful and did nothing to improve the mental state of patients undergoing this traumatic experience.

“This is despite the great work done by the NHS staff and the wonderful Macmillan nurses. We expect the new centre to be much more welcoming and practical and, therefore, more effective.”

Lynda Geaves, chairman of Macmillan’s Stevenage and District Committee, said she was “proud” of their fundraising achievements, which totalled just under £11,000.

Fellow donor Tommy Phipps, who was diagnosed with bowel and liver cancer in May 2012, co-ordinated a £12,000 fundraising effort by organising a series of activities and events, including a summer ball, bowls galas, and a family treasure hunt.

Sarah Parker, owner of Brewery Tea Rooms in Walkern, also attended the event.

She said: “We want to say a huge and heartfelt thank you to all generous customers, friends and staff of Brewery Tea Rooms who helped raise the £10,000 that we pledged last autumn.”

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