Appeal team thank Chron readers for help funding £1.55m cancer unit

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The new cancer unit at Northampton General Hospital has now been paid for thanks to your help.

The Chronicle & Echo teamed up with Macmillan Cancer Support in 2010 to try to raise £1.55 million to help fund a new haemotology unit at the hospital... and the appeal is now complete.

Funds were raised by a variety of events organised by Northamptonshire residents, including sponsored bike rides, cookery demonstrations, marathons, walks, gigs, comedy nights, theatrical performances and more.

Macmillan’s annual event, World’s Biggest Coffee Morning, also pulled in the funds over the last two years and the Chron also staged a variety of fund-raisers, including three Strictly Northampton dance contests and a cookery event, Chron’s Kitchen.

There were also donations from charitable funds, including £50,000 from the Bernard Sunley Foundation and £100,000 from the Constance Travis Charitable Trust.

Area fund-raising manager for Macmillan, Bernadette Halton, said: “The money is in and the unit has been paid for. Thank you for all of the support from people in Northamptonshire and for everything they have done.”

She added: “A lot of money came in during our last push for funds in December. We banked £57,000 in that month which was really good.”

More than 650 people are diagnosed with and treated for blood cancers at the hospital every year and the new haematology unit was drastically needed.

It is bigger than its predecessor and purpose-built to offer patients a more relaxing, comfortable and appropriate environment.

There is also extra space to improve working conditions for staff and reduce waiting times for patients.

There is now a bigger waiting room, a new beverage bar, new office and nurses’ stations, more consulting and examination rooms and a separate treatment area with a bed for those who feel unwell.

The total cost of the unit, which officially opened in November 2012, was £2.2 million, and the hospital contributed £650,000 of this.

Bernadette Halton said Macmillan would launch a new campaign in February, and added: “We need our fantastic supporters’ help even more now for other things that we want to bring into the county.”