Former headmistress of Storth’s village school, Alison Charlesworth, was a guest of honour at celebrations to mark the 20th birthday of the region’s specialist cancer treatment centre, the Rosemere Cancer Centre.
Former patient Alison was invited to cut the centre’s birthday cake at an event, which also saw the launch of Rosemere Cancer Foundation’s 20 Years Anniversary Appeal.
The charitable foundation works to support not only projects at Rosemere Cancer Centre at the Royal Preston Hospital, which provides all local radiotherapy as well as some specialist chemotherapy treatment and surgery, but also to improve cancer treatment and services at all hospitals managed by the Morecambe Bay University Hospitals Foundation Trust. Over the last 12 months, Rosemere Cancer Foundation has spent £142,428 on projects at the trust’s hospitals.
Its money comes from donations and as co-ordinator of the Dallam Rosemere Cancer Foundation Supporters’ Group, Alison has worked tirelessly to help it raise funds. Among other things, Alison organised a Ritz-style afternoon tea, which she followed by running a pop-up café over the weekend of last summer’s Arnside and Silverdale Arts Trail.
A member of Storth WI and also part of its community owned and run village general store and post office team, Alison nominated the foundation as one of a number of good local causes to receive a share of the store’s profits, which all go to charity.
Tammy Hoskins, Rosemere’s local area fundraising co-ordinator, said: “It was a big day for us and great to have Alison as part of it. She’s a tremendous supporter, who has done so much to raise awareness of our work locally.
“Rosemere Cancer Centre was opened in March 1997 so that people living in South Cumbria and Lancashire could receive radiotherapy and other specialist cancer treatment much nearer to home. Prior to it opening, they had to travel to Manchester’s Christie Hospital. For some people in parts of South Cumbria, just travelling to and from Christie’s was a five hour round trip in itself.”
Tammy added: “The centre has such a special place in so many people’s hearts for the work it has done and lives it has helped saved that over the course of its coming of age year, our aim is to raise £1.5 million to fund a trio of projects to ensure the centre is at the forefront of the global effort to combat cancer, which is fantastic for current patients and great insurance for the rest of us!”
Rosemere Cancer Foundation’s 20 Years Anniversary appeal is raising money for the latest in robotic surgical systems, which will be used to treat patients with gastrointestinal, bowel and gynaecological cancers. It will enable surgeons to use keyhole rather than open surgery on hard to reach parts of the body and in complex procedures, so reducing the risk of complications and speeding recovery time. The centre’s system is expected to arrive later this month (March 2017) and with its arrival, it will become a European training hub for the advancement of robotic surgery.
The appeal is also raising money for a state-of-the-art research facility to enable more patients to participate in clinical trials. Taking part in a trial could mean a patient has to access the medicines and treatments making newspaper headlines around the world as the drugs and therapy of tomorrow but which, because they are still being researched, are only available in a trials setting.
In addition, the appeal is raising money to redevelop Rosemere Cancer Centre’s in-patient Ribblesdale Ward. It is set to be transformed from a traditional Florence Nightingale style ward into a modern, home from home with places to socialise, make snacks and drinks plus private bays that will provide quiet and restful areas not only for patients but also, for relatives wishing to stay.
To find out more about its local work and the 20 Years Anniversary Appeal, visit its website at www.rosemere.org.uk