Cancer centre needs a hand to expand

James Marjoribanks, left, launches the public funding appeal with Macmillan centre staff, from left: Amanda Fiddes, Christine Henderson, Gillian Fenton, Alan McLaren, Rachel Johnson, Val Gibson and Judith Smith.
James Marjoribanks, left, launches the public funding appeal with Macmillan centre staff, from left: Amanda Fiddes, Christine Henderson, Gillian Fenton, Alan McLaren, Rachel Johnson, Val Gibson and Judith Smith.

An appeal has been launched to help finance a much-needed extension to the Borders Macmillan Centre in the Borders General Hospital.

The ‘Give Us A Hand – Help Us Expand’ appeal has been set up to raise the final £100,000 needed to transform the cancer care facility, a move which would, it is claimed, make the experience a far less stressful one for the vulnerable patients – at a time when the last thing they need is extra stress.

The plans will see the creation of more treatment spaces to help manage the demand and improve patient flow, as well as enhancing the environment throughout the ward, improving the overall experience for patients.

The project will cost £829,000 – of which Macmillan Cancer Support has already committed £400,000, with the remainder coming from the NHS Borders charity, The Difference.

With more than three quarters of the funds raised so far, The Difference is launching a public fundraising appeal to raise the final £100,000 needed.

Appeal president James Marjoribanks said: “The Borders communities are fantastic at getting behind a good cause and I am confident that this will be the case again.

“The specialist cancer teams already do a wonderful job; we simply aim to provide them with an environment which can meet the challenges of modern cancer care.

“I am delighted that there are already people signing up to help, including a number of primary and secondary schools in the region.

“With cancer affecting so many of us, we hope many more will heed the call to “give us a hand!”

Judith Smith, Macmillan Nurse consultant and lead clinician for cancer, told The Southern; “The extension will make such a difference to the way we work and, most importantly, improve the experience for our patients by accommodating more treatment space.

“The refurbishment will allow that space to be used in a more creative way, improving patient flow and preventing patient delays.

“It has been great to see our staff getting involved with the fundraising effort, too.

“They have already held a massive bake sale and have more events planned in the future.”

To make a donation or get more information about the project and the ‘Give Us A Hand – Help Us Expand’ appeal, visit www.thedifference.org.uk where you will also find fundraising ideas and different ways to get involved.

Anyone interested in supporting the appeal can register via the website or can contact the fundraising team on 01896 825520 or by emailing thedifference@borders.scot.nhs.uk