Cancer unit nears completion

By Lisa CleverdonWORK on a new multi-million-pound unit for cancer patients is on target for completion by the end of the year.The ambitious project to build a new £2.

By Lisa Cleverdon

WORK on a new multi-million-pound unit for cancer patients is on target for completion by the end of the year.

The ambitious project to build a new £2.1million Macmillan Cancer Relief unit at West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds began in January.

Now six months on and thousands of pounds of fundraising later, the charity and the hospital trust said the unit was on schedule.

It is hoped the project will ease the pressure on the hospital's existing facilities, which are unable to meet the rapid growth in requirement for cancer care.

The new purpose-built unit has been planned around the need for cancer patients, who will be able to receive treatment closer to home.

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In December, Macmillan appealed for people to pay £1 for each of the bricks needed to build the new unit and so far the scheme has raised more than £29,000.

Other fundraising activities have included a Big Hush event in conjunction with local schools, which netted just over £9,000.

A Macmillan Miles challenge, which took place in May, is also expected to have raised about £11,000.

Fundraising manager, Sharon Ireland, said the support so far from the Suffolk community had been overwhelming.

“More and more people are living with cancer than ever before and at the moment the facilities are just not available to cope with the rise in patients,” she added.

“We are really pleased with the way work on the new building has gone so far and everything has gone to plan, so we are on schedule for the end of the year.”

The new cancer unit will enable the hospital to care for almost all the cancer patients in the west Suffolk area.

“The unit will be of huge benefit to people who may otherwise have to travel to other hospitals in the area for treatment,” said Mrs Ireland.

The next event organised to raise money for the Macmillan appeal is a sponsored Autumn Amble walk on October 24 around the Elveden Estate.

A series of open days and visits will also take place when the unit is completed. For more information, contact the appeal office on 01284 750808.

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