Tea drinkers and cake makers have collectively helped to raise £16,000 for Hope for Tomorrow, a charity which provides the NHS with mobile cancer units to bring treatment closer to patients.
Cuppa for Cancer Care took place from 30 January to 5 February, with people asked to get together for tea, coffee and cake in aid of the Gloucestershire-based charity.
TV presenter and patron of Hope for Tomorrow Gloria Hunniford OBE, who lost her daughter Caron Keating to breast cancer in 2004, launched the initiative to coincide with World Cancer Day on 4 February.
Hope for Tomorrow builds and provides mobile cancer care units to NHS trusts, who drive out to treat patients in communities rather than patients having to make long and sometimes stressful journeys to hospital for their cancer care. Inside, the units are just like hospital treatment rooms, with four treatment chairs, chemotherapy pump stands, and medical storage facilities. They are equipped with air conditioning and a cooling and heating system for patient comfort, as well as a toilet and kitchen. Eleven NHS trusts currently have mobile cancer care units and last year they provided more than 26,000 treatments.
Gloria at the launch of a new mobile cancer care unit, named after her daughter Caron, in Kent, last year.
Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust took delivery of the world’s first mobile cancer care unit in 2007 and since then has been providing treatment to patients across the county. The unit, called Helen, in memory of a friend of the charity’s founder who passed away from cancer, currently allows patients to be treated in Cinderford, Stroud and Cirencester.
Tina Seymour, Hope for Tomorrow chief executive, said: “We are blown away by the support we received through the Cuppa for Cancer Care initiative. Hundreds of people took part at home and work and we are pleased to say we are planning to make this an annual event around World Cancer Day each year.
“The money raised will enable us to continue to maintain our existing units and expand our services. It costs £212 a day to keep a mobile cancer care unit on the road so fundraising is vital to keep the service going.”
Hope for Tomorrow’s latest patient feedback shows that, on average, for each treatment, patients save two-and-a-half hours, 20 travel miles, and £6 on parking. With treatment lasting several months and sometimes years, the time and financial savings can be considerable. Seventy-one percent of patients said they can tolerate their treatment more easily on a mobile cancer care unit, while 47% felt that they were more likely to complete their full course of treatment.
For more information about Hope for Tomorrow, and to find out about other upcoming fundraising opportunities visit www.hopefortomorrow.org.uk. Next year’s Cuppa for Cancer Care will take place between 4-10 February. You can sign up at www.hopefortomorrow.org.uk/cuppa