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Rosemary Appeal delivers 'best community hospital in the country'

Appeal raises more than £5.4m in three years for cancer care and renal dialysis unit

John Garvey

John Garvey

john.garvey@newburynews.co.uk

Contact:

01635 886628

Rosemary Appeal delivers 'best community hospital in the country'

THEY think it’s all over… it is now!

The Rosemary Appeal has exceeded its £5.4m funding target to build the Greenham Trust Wing at the West Berkshire Community Hospital.

The appeal is now closed.

The incredible news was greeted with a mixture of “pride and relief” by trustees.

The donation which broke the barrier was made by the Kennet Interact club.

The appeal, launched in 2016, caught the imagination of the public.

Lord and Lady Carnarvon of Highclere Castle hosted a Downton Abbey-themed event to persuade foreign donors to give generously; pensioners donated whatever they could afford and children emptied their piggy banks; marathons were run and office collections were held – all match-funded by The Greenham Trust via The Good Exchange platform.

But there were never any cast-iron guarantees and through it all, the trustees held their nerve.

By last August, the first dialysis patients were being treated and the cancer unit soon followed suit.

Trustee Dr Paul Millard said: “We’re now able to do chemotherapy, blood transfusions and much more; the consulting rooms are busy.

“We believe we now have the best community hospital in the country.”

Fellow trustee Dr Rob Tayton said: “It’s been a real community effort and a hell of a lot of work with lots of decisions to make plus stress and risk.

“But it was all worth it in the end.”

Trustee David Ball said: “The renal unit is now fully commissioned and working six days a week.

“It seemed an enormous ambition back at the start, but it has exceeded all expectations.”

In an open letter to “the community of West Berkshire,” the trustees state: “Thank you to all who have helped in so many ways to enable us to get to this moment.

“Local people are now benefitting from enhanced care in their own community.

“The Enborne Unit [for renal dialysis] and the Rosemary Centre [for cancer and other therapies, advice and support] are fully-funded and operational, as is the CT scanner.

“The two charities involved in the appeal are now concentrating on additional developments at the hospital.

“The Hospital Building Trust is organising the provision of two permanent MRI scanners on the site.

“Newbury Cancer Care is creating additional facilities, therapies, support services to be provided in the Rosemary Centre and in the community.

“Any further donations to the Rosemary Centre over and above appeal costs will be managed by Newbury Cancer Care [as the parent charity] and protected for use in the Rosemary Centre.

“The office for Newbury Cancer Care is now based in the Rosemary Centre and is perfectly placed to respond to queries and requests for support from the community.

“Further information is available at newburycancercare.org.uk

“If you have any questions or would like further information, ring the NCC office on (01635) 31542.

“Congratulations to you, the community, for this fantastic achievement – and thank you.”

The letter is signed Paul Millard and David Ball (Newbury Cancer Care), Rob Tayton and Keith Endersby (Newbury and Thatcham Hospital Building Trust) and Tim Barton (chairman of fundraising for The Rosemary Appeal).

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