A fundraising group in Macclesfield has set itself the goal of covering the distance between Land’s End and John O’Groats during August to raise money for The Christie at Macclesfield. 

Members of The Christie Appeal Macclesfield fundraising group will complete the virtual challenge in support of The Christie charity which is aiming to raise £23m towards the £26m cost of a new cancer centre in Macclesfield. 

The committee of the Christie Appeal Macclesfield Fundraising Group decided to take on the challenge when many of their traditional fundraising activities were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Each member of the group has pledged to complete as many miles as they can during August by walking, running, cycling, skating or wheeling in a wheelchair the total 880 mile distance. 

The group are now looking for supporters to join them on their journey to help them cover the full distance as they aim to raise £5,000 for the new Christie at Macclesfield cancer centre. 

Vicky Bisset, chair of the group, said: “We’ve been so disappointed that the coronavirus pandemic has unfortunately cancelled many of our fundraising events involving face to face participation. 

“We still want to do something fun and enjoyable as a group to raise money for The Christie at Macclesfield, but we need to make sure it’s within the current social distancing guidelines. 

“We came up with the idea of organising a virtual journey from Land’s End to John O’Groats during August. And if anyone wants to join us in this challenge they are more than welcome.

“All you need to do is get in touch with me, pledge to cover as many miles as you can and raise money through sponsorship for The Christie at Macclesfield. Personally, I will be cycling my miles!” 

The Christie at Macclesfield will transform cancer care in Cheshire, the High Peak area of Derbyshire and parts of North Staffordshire, providing care closer to home for more than 1,500 existing Christie patients a year. 

It will bring together essential cancer services into one purpose-built centre delivering local specialist access to radiotherapy, chemotherapy, holistic support and information services, outpatient care, palliative care and a wider range of clinical trials. Around 40,000 appointments per year will take place at the new centre. 

The plans for the new cancer centre were approved by Cheshire East Council in September 2019 and demolition work on the site is now complete. Work on the cancer centre is expected to be completed by the end of 2021, ready for patients in 2022. 

To sign up to support the challenge, please email Vicky at v_bissett@hotmail.co.uk or you can donate to the group’s challenge

The Christie charity supports the work of The Christie NHS Foundation Trust providing enhanced services over and above what the NHS funds. This includes money for care and treatment, research, education and extra patient services. Gifts from the public make a huge difference to the care and treatment that The Christie is able to provide to patients and their families. 

The Christie NHS Foundation Trust was the first specialist trust to be rated as ‘Outstanding’ twice (in 2016 and 2018) by the health regulator the Care Quality Commission (CQC). It referred to The Christie as ‘a leader in cancer care’ and ‘a pioneer in developing innovative solutions to cancer care.’ The CQC praised the Trust’s staff which it said ‘go the extra mile to meet the needs of patients and their families’ and that they were ‘exceptionally kind and caring.’ In 2017, the CQC rated The Christie as the best specialist trust in the country, and one of the top three trusts overall in England.