Over and Above, the Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust charity, has launched a £1.5 million fundraising appeal to build a new centre to support people with cancer and other illnesses, and their loved ones.
The North Devon Cancer and Wellbeing Centre Appeal aims to raise funds to build a Cancer and Wellbeing Centre on the grounds of North Devon District Hospital. This will be a dedicated space offering a wide range of information and support services to anyone affected by cancer and other illnesses, all within a comfortable and welcoming environment.
Ian Roome, Head of Fundraising at Over and Above said: “We are really excited to launch our new appeal. Our vision is for the Cancer and Wellbeing Centre to be a bright and welcoming space where patients will find all the information they need to support them, including advice and guidance with financial issues, and emotional and psychological wellbeing.
“We want it to feel less clinical than the hospital
environment and we think this will make a real difference to our patients with cancer and other illnesses, and their families and loved ones too.”
The building will have an open-plan lounge diner, a clinic and complementary therapy room, private counselling rooms and a meeting/activity room, which will be suitable for activities such as exercise classes.
People will be able to access services that can help following a diagnosis and after receiving treatment, including counselling and psychological support, financial and benefits advice, hair loss support, and health and wellbeing events and courses, whether as a patient, carer or relative.
The plans for the Cancer and Wellbeing Centre will also include a relatives’ accommodation wing, which will have three en-suite family rooms. These will be for use by relatives, carers or friends who urgently need to be nearby whilst a loved one stays in hospital overnight, and can be used for up to five nights.
Ian said: “We know our patients benefit from having their loved ones nearby, and we hope the accommodation wing will help people out in their time of need. This could be used by relatives of a patient who is nearing the end of life, or a parent whose child is staying on Caroline Thorpe children’s ward overnight.
“They will be far enough away from the hospital setting for respite and support, whilst remaining close enough to return to the main site quickly if necessary.”
This new appeal follows successful campaigns to raise £250,000 to purchase equipment for the Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) and over £2.2m to build the Seamoor Unit, a state-of-the-art chemotherapy unit and day treatment centre.
Roger French, chairman of the Trust, said: “The community has really come together to support our previous appeals. Over the years we have been able to provide fantastic equipment and more that goes over and above what the NHS is able to provide to support patients. We could not have achieved any of this without your hard work and donations.
“Together with your support, we can make a difference, so please get involved and support our new appeal in any way you can.”