THE APPEAL to raise £1million for Stratford Hospital has reached the halfway point.
Thanks to the efforts of fund-raisers across the district, £500,000 has been collected since the appeal was launched last year.
Hospital chiefs are looking to create a new cancer and state-of-the-art eye treatment centre at the existing hospital site on Arden Street.
It is hoped the £1million appeal will help fund everything from specialist chemotherapy chairs to iPads that do not come as standard in the new £22million hospital.
Within six months, the first milestone of £100,000 had been reached, and the appeal was given a further boost back in March after The Rigby Foundation donated £250,000.
They also pledged a further £50,000 towards research and development for each of the next five years, which bosses said would allow patients access to the newest treatments and help the hospital become a centre of excellence for cancer treatment.
A month later, Stratford Town Trust chiefs announced they would commit £100,000 to the appeal and a number of fund-raising events in recent weeks have finally tipped the total over its halfway point.
To celebrate the major milestone, key fund-raisers, hospital staff and representatives from building contractor Speller Metcalfe gathered on site for a special ‘500’ photo recently.
Appeal chairman Denys Shortt said he was delighted by the achievement and called on everyone to continue fund-raising to help reach the £1million goal.
And Jenny Farrell, chair of the community committee, added: “I would like to say a huge thank you to the local community for their overwhelming support.
“This is a fantastic achievement for the project and we are all excited to move forward with plans for Stratford.”
Plans for the hospital were officially given the green light by Stratford District Council back in October with the overall building project expected to last two years.
The new cancer unit – based on Warwick Hospital’s Aylesford Unit – will be made up of 12 treatment chairs and two side rooms.
It will allow chemotherapy to be carried out on site and will also provide an outpatient facility for cancer services as well as an emergency cancer unit so patients can receive specialist care rather than using A&E.
The eye unit meanwhile, will give people access to specialised eye treatment facilities and will include a new state-of-the-art theatre, which is designed to treat a range of eye conditions.
Hospital chiefs hope the new facilities will help reduce travel time – making it easier for patients who live within Stratford district and south Warwickshire.
The hospital is expected to open in spring 2017.
Visit www.stratfordhospital.co.uk for further information about the appeal.