Thanks to overwhelmingly generous local fundraisers and beneficiaries of SURE (Somerset Unit for Radiotherapy Equipment) donated thousands of pounds to the Beacon Centre cancer unit at Musgrove Park Hospital during 2014.
During 2014 SURE committed £121,168.21 of donated funds to pay for new equipment to enhance the radiotherapy department within the Beacon Centre at Musgrove Park to the great benefit of all patients who are treated there.
The money was raised by a host of local fundraisers, organisations, businesses, schools and community groups.
Babette Fuller, Directorate Manager for Hope (Haematology, Oncology and Palliative Care) said:
“We are incredibly grateful for all the generous donations that we receive for the Beacon Centre. The donated funds we are given are vital for funding additional equipment that otherwise we would not have access to.
“We have a great working relationship with SURE and have done since the Beacon Centre opened in 2009. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the fundraisers for their hard work and dedication enabling us to provide the best patient care possible here in the Beacon Centre.”
Some examples of fundraising projects and activities for SURE during 2014 include; an Evening of Music and Promises at Cheddon Fitzpaine, a collection of 5ps by pupils at St George’s Catholic School, a ‘Contemplate for Cancer’ event held by Wellington Aqua Aerobic group (which raised £4,470) and a performance held by the Wellington Operatic Society during which a collection was made in the interval of ‘Singing in the Rain’ enabling them to present SURE with a cheque for £812.83.
The Beacon Centre relies on charitable donations to help fund additional equipment, research and staff training that would not normally be provided by NHS funding.
Every penny raised by SURE and donated to the Beacon Centre is used directly to benefit patients, staff and visitors who use the facilities there. Some examples of where the money was spent include:
- Completion of mould room within the Beacon Centre.A mould room is a place where patients will go to have moulds made of a body part, which is then used to help keep that area of the body still each time they receive treatment. Radiographers can also use these moulds to make marks on so they can accurately line up the radiotherapy treatment machines to exactly the same position each time treatment takes place. Cost: £6,875.67 Note: The total project cost funded by SURE was £270,822.94
- VMAT (Volumetric Modulated Arc Radiotherapy) and upgrade for Elekta Linac.The linear accelerator is used to deliver radiotherapy treatment and the VMAT offers a new technique where the radiotherapy machine rotates around the patient during treatment. Cost: £87,755
- Three wingboards.These are carbon fibre positioning accessories for patients receiving thoracic (spinal) radiotherapy as well as an essential requirement for SABR (Steriotactic Ablative Body Radiotherapy) treatment of lung tumours. Again, these pieces of equipment allow patients to be set up for treatment in exactly the same position daily, ensuring accurate treatment. Cost: £8,112
In October 2014 SURE launched a major fundraising campaign to raise £500,000 by March 2017 to purchase a new Big Bore CT scanner for the Beacon Centre. This will replace the current scanner which will reach the end of its life in 2017. The CT scanner will be used as the first diagnostic tool to accurately locate patients’ tumours and having it here in Taunton, within the Beacon Centre, prevents patients having to travel to Bristol for scans.
For more information about SURE or to help support their work visit www.surecharity.org.uk
To make a donation or support SURE in any other way, contact Treasurer, Roy Hole at the Registered Office, 44 Calder Crescent, Taunton, TA1 2NH, Tel: 01823 278118.