Rory Bremner praises local fundraisers as GWH radiotherapy appeal passes £500,000
The Brighter Futures campaign for a radiotherapy centre at Great Western Hospital marked a milestone when its patron Rory Bremner received a cheque for £50,000 from a local charitable trust.
The cheque puts the fund over the half-million pound mark - well on its way to its £2.9 million target. They expect to be 'breaking ground' for the unit's new building during the summer.
Rory Bremner, who lives locally, was full of praise for the great efforts shown by fund raisers all over the GWH's area. He told Marlborough News Online that he accepted readily when Brighter Future's head of fundraising, Jennifer Green, asked him to be the appeal's patron.
"I was astonished to learn that Swindon doesn't have its own radiotherapy unit." He cited the difficulties of the daily journeys by road to Oxford for fifteen minute radiotherapy treatments: "It's a mind-numbing journey at the best of times - but many who have to make it over seven or eight weeks for 40 treatments will have already had chemo...it's not at all good for them."
Rory Bremner says the appeal got off to a fine start when it was launched last April with a huge amount of local interest: "When we first launched the appeal for £2.9 million it looked like a big mountain to climb.
"We're up and running and on our way, but I think we really need a push now - these are the hard yards - in the middle of a campaign."
"If you want to give to a cancer charity, this is the most direct and effective way to do it. Hopefully we will see the unit built and working in a couple of years."
The vital £50,000 cheque came from the Swindon-based Dr Thomas Cranston Wilson Charitable Trust. Its chairman, Sir John Sykes, said: "The provision of radiotherapy treatment in Swindon is long overdue and the appeal has our maximum support with our £50,000 donation."
For twenty years Rory Bremner's father had been appeals secretary in Scotland to the British Empire Cancer Campaign - one of the forerunners of Cancer Research UK - and had later died of cancer.
Talking to the trustees of the charitable trust, Rory Bremner joked that he could not join in any of Brighter Futures' running fund-raisers events because he was under doctor's orders not to run. It was something to do with his knees...he thought.
The latest Marlborough event that will benefit this Brighter Futures fund can be found here.