The Christie charity, which supports the work of The Christie NHS Foundation Trust by providing enhanced services and equipment above and beyond what the NHS funds, has raised an incredible £15.8m in 2015/16.
This record breaking figure is the largest amount Christie fundraisers have ever raised and comes at a time when The Christie hospital needs funds more than ever.
The Christie, one of Europe’s leading cancer specialist centres, is working towards a future without cancer. To achieve this it needs the most advanced and up to date equipment, the very brightest and best medical staff and researchers, and the highest quality facilities.
There are a number of ambitious developments currently underway including the UK’s first NHS high energy proton beam therapy service, due to start treating patients in 2018. The Christie was selected to deliver this specialist treatment, along with University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
Christie charity supporters have been working hard this year to raise funds for a research room in this facility which will help provide the latest techniques in proton beam therapy and maximise the potential of this life-saving treatment.
One couple who have worked tirelessly to raise £33,000 for the proton beam therapy research room is David and Myra Garlick from Knutsford. They celebrated Myra’s 60th birthday by completing a year of fundraising that culminated in a trek across the Great Wall of China.
The Christie also needs the very latest equipment to ensure its patients receive the very best care and treatment, and this year will see the delivery of the state-of-the-art 3Tesla scanner. The 3T scanner will help The Christie consultants see a patient’s cancer more clearly and be able to treat it more effectively. Its ultra-sharp imaging will help radiologists visualise and monitor changes in patients’ cancer to plan individualised therapy and deliver targeted therapy.
Fundraisers have contributed over a £1million to bring this life-saving equipment to The Christie including Stockport based fundraising group ‘Compstall for The Christie’ which raised over £4,000 in 2015/16.
The Christie charity also works hard to provide specialist staff and supportive services which can help patients through their cancer experience. As well as a wig and headscarf service and complementary therapies, it also funds an art room, based at the main site in Withington, which delivers art sessions for patients and carers several times each week.
The idea was brought about by artist in residence, Pat Mountford, who is fully funded by The Christie charity and who runs the sessions which provide a space to explore creativity away from the daily pressures of life including living with cancer.
Pat and Lou Kushnik from Gatley are both Christie volunteers who have also fundraised since 2003 in memory of their daughter Alex Hall. Alex’s Tribute Fund currently stands at £238,430. For several years they have organised events to support the activities of the art room paying for the artist in residence and art materials, and this year they contributed over £3,000.
As well as services and equipment, The Christie charity also funds a number of key posts across the hospital. These include clinical nurse specialists who act as key workers for patients with complex care treatment plans, and in particular provide interventions to ensure patients are not admitted unless it is absolute necessary. These specialist nurses also provide telephone follow up clinics which reduce the need for patients to attend hospital for follow up appointments, and in turn support The Christie’s aim of providing more care closer to, or in the homes of patients.
Louise Hadley, director of fundraising and corporate affairs, said: “We have had an incredible fundraising year at The Christie thanks to our dedicated and loyal supporters. Their unwavering support has provided much needed funds to help us provide patients with the very latest treatment, research and equipment saving more lives and taking us a step closer to a future without cancer.
“But it doesn’t stop there, as we need support more than ever if we are to continue to provide our patients with the very best care and treatment and give them the very best chance of survival. We work hand in hand with The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, and together we have ambitious plans for the future and we are looking forward to what the next year will bring.”
Some of the fundraising priorities for The Christie charity over the next year include an innovative new project called molecular diagnostics; funding for a £4.8.m Integrated Procedures Unit to improve the patient experience; and a £5.6m dedicated research room in the new proton beam therapy centre.
Molecular diagnostics will revolutionise cancer diagnosis and treatment for thousands of patients at The Christie. It will help scientists, doctors and researchers better understand different tumour types and the most effective way to treat them, leading to personalised treatment that will improve outcomes for patients.
As part of this project, The Christie charity is raising £600,000 to extend the ground-breaking TARGET project which will offer hope to even more desperately ill patients.
Christie charity supporters fundraise for the hospital in a variety of ways including sporting, community and corporate events and by legacies left in wills.
The Christie charity is one of the largest NHS charities in the UK and has over 43,000 supporters who raise funds for a variety of services and equipment ranging from multi million pound building developments to smaller, but equally important items, such as stress stars for patients having complementary therapy and fans to keep patients cool while undergoing chemotherapy.