THE APPEAL to raise £1million for Stratford Hospital has reached its next big milestone.
Thanks to the recent MacRide event, which raised some £30,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support and the hospital’s appeal, the overall total has now passed £750,000.
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 when The Rigby Foundation agreed to donate £250,000.
And now, just 18 months after the appeal was launched, the efforts of fund-raisers have helped tip the total over the three quarter mark.
Denys Shortt, chairman of the hospital appeal, said: “We are very grateful to the MacRide team for supporting the £1million appeal – it’s events such as these which have helped us reach a significant milestone.
“I would like to thank everyone else who has supported us so far and encourage the people of south Warwickshire to get involved in the final leg of the appeal to help us make the new Stratford Hospital the best it can possibly be.”
Plans for the hospital were officially given the green light by Stratford District Council back in October 2014 with the overall building project expected to last just over two years.
The new cancer 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 provide an emergency cancer unit so patients can receive specialist care rather than using A&E.
As part of the new unit, there will also be a Macmillan Cancer Support information centre – similar to the one in the Aylesford Unit at nearby Warwick Hospital.
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.
Director of development Jayne Blacklay said she was delighted to have passed the £750,000 mark and called on everyone to continue fund-raising to help hit the £1million target.
She told The Observer: “The new hospital is going to make a huge difference so it is great the community have been supporting us throughout the appeal. As the build develops, it’s exciting to think what a different this money will make for our patients.
“It is thanks to this appeal we are going to be able to make enhancements and ensure the hospital is a centre of excellence. I would therefore encourage everyone to continue their support and help us during these final stages.”
The hospital is expected to open in spring 2017.