Businesses urged to donate towards Colchester Hospital Cancer Centre

Paul Milsom is backing the campaign. Picture: MILSOM HOTELS AND RESTAURANTS

Paul Milsom is backing the campaign. Picture: MILSOM HOTELS AND RESTAURANTS - Credit: Archant

A leading East Anglian entrepreneur is calling on business leaders to dip into their pockets to help improve cancer care in north Essex.

Paul Milsom is supporting the ‘2019 Club’ – an initiative where firms are asked to donate £2,019 towards the creation of a new cancer centre at Colchester Hospital.

The project by the hospital’s charity team will be launched at the Milsom Business Showcase networking event on Thursday, 19 April at Le Talbooth, Dedham.

Work is set to start on the new £3.25 million state-of-the-art facility soon.

While £2.9m has been raised through fundraising and donations already, another £348,261 is required to complete the project.

The new cancer centre, which will include a wellness hub on the first floor and a chemotherapy and haematology suite on the second floor, is due to open next year.

Mr Milsom, the patron of the club and a founding member, said: “We all know people who have been affected by cancer.

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“It’s a traumatic time for patients. If it was me, a member of my family or a friend, I would want to be treated in an environment that is calm, welcoming and less daunting than your typical NHS clinic or treatment space, which is why I am backing this initiative and calling on others to join me.”

In return for their donation, hospital bosses say business leaders will benefit from “exclusive member-only events”.

Nick Hulme, chief executive of Colchester Hospital, said: “The business community in Colchester and Essex has a long history of supporting its local hospitals, ever since Essex County Hospital was founded 200 years ago.

“I am confident that with the help of the community we serve, the fundraising campaign will be completed this year and the new centre will open in 2019.”

Caroline Bates, head of charity and fundraising at Colchester Hospitals Charity, has also urged companies to show their support.

“We’ve had a phenomenal response from the community so far and even though we’re nearing our £3.2m target we can’t stop yet,” she said.

“The 2019 Club is a fantastic way for local companies to get involved and be part of this life-changing project.”

The 2019 Club will be active until mid-2019 when the new cancer centre opens.