GWH's Brighter Futures radiotherapy appeal breaks through the £2 million mark - before Christmas Day  

Written by Tony Millett on .


Architect's drawing of the new Radiotherapy Centre - on which work has already begunArchitect's drawing of the new Radiotherapy Centre - on which work has already begunHere's some very good news as the festive season is upon us: Great Western Hospital's Brighter Futures team have reached their Radiotherapy Appeal’s important £2 million mark - just in time for Christmas.

After a busy year of events, donations and support from local groups and businesses,  the end of the Radiotherapy Appeal, which launched in May 2015, is now within sight.

When the appeal reaches its £2.9million target, the charity will be able to buy the life-saving equipment that will be at the heart of the new radiotherapy centre at the Great Western Hospital.

Catherine Newman, Head of Brighter Futures: “It’s an incredible feeling to hit the £2 million mark for Christmas.  Our supporters are simply amazing, the local community have backed the campaign in their thousands and in such extraordinary ways."

“They have taken on challenges like the Ride for Radiotherapy, Superhero Run, London Marathon and the Swindon Half Marathon for the appeal with hundreds more organising fundraising activities locally."

“We’d like to say a massive thank you to each and every person who has helped the appeal reach this milestone.  We are on the home stretch now - our fundraising target is within touching distance and we’ll be working harder than ever to reach it in the coming year.”

Every year around 700 patients from GWH's area make the 70 mile round trip to the Churchill Hospital in Oxford for radiotherapy - often several times a week. With treatment lasting four to seven weeks, the journey is an added strain on patients.

The Radiotherapy Appeal has received incredible support from local businesses and organisations such as local Rotary Clubs, Malmesbury League of Friends, Nationwide, Marlborough's Friends of Savernake Hospital and Swindon Will Writing - among many others.  

This year the Friends of Savernake Hospital gave Brighter Futures a further £10,000 towards the Radiotherapy Appeal.  The Friends' grant qualified for matched funding provided by Greenham Common Trust - increasing their grant to £20,000.   

September saw two massive events, the ever popular Ride for Radiotherapy and new Swindon Half Marathon, add tens of thousands of pounds to the fundraising pot.

There have also been a number of generous donations from local people, including James Hussey, who not only gave over £30,000, but lends his Broad Hinton farm as the venue for the Hackpen 10k race - in memory of his late wife Gill.

The family of Julie Basleigh, who died in July this year, also donated £7,500 to the appeal and continue to show their support.

Scores of local people have undertaken challenges to raise cash for the appeal, including Evelyn Williams from Lambourn.  In 2016, he raised more than £4,000 rowing across the Atlantic in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge.

This year, local resident Peter Mainwaring and his family challenged themselves to a 10-hour hike to raise money for the appeal.  He raised £8,500 completing a 30-mile hike from Oxford to Swindon, a route he travelled frequently while receiving treatment for prostate cancer.

To find out more about fundraising for the Radiotherapy Appeal or to donate visit Brighter Futures’ website.