AN appeal to raise money for a state-of-the-art cancer centre has topped £657,000.

Colchester Hospitals Charity, supported by the Gazette, needs to raise £4.5 million for a new centre to be built on top of the radiotherapy centre at Colchester General Hospital.

The centre will allow all cancer patients to be treated on one site and will have space for support services such as the Macmillan nurses.

The funds raised so far includes cash from 600 festive fundraisers who took part in the Santa Fun Run in Colchester Castle Park.




Fundraising manager Caroline Bates said: "We were delighted with the turnout for this year’s Santa Fun Run and pleased to say so far it has raised almost £10,000 for the Cancer Centre Campaign.

"Lots of families take part every year and have told us our annual Santa Fun Run starts off Christmas for them.

"Of course, the run is meant to be fun but the reason we organise it is to raise funds.

"The purpose of this year’s event was to raise money for our Cancer Centre Campaign and we hope it will reach our target of £20,000.”

Sir John Ashworth, chairman of the Cancer Centre Campaign, said the centre was vital to allow patients to get the best possible care.

He said: "The campaign total has now reached £657,500 which is almost 15 per cent of the total we need to raise to start building the centre.

"Anyone who, like me, has had cancer knows you are given lots of information and have to choose from the many treatments on offer.

"All this has to be done when you and those nearest to you are anxious and worried.

“The NHS does an increasingly effective job of treating cancer but the provision of support and advice, complementary therapies to alleviate the side effects of treatments and the surroundings within which the vital treatments and information are given could all be improved.

"The aim of the campaign is to augment treatments and enhance the environment so patients have as good a service as anywhere in the world."

The centre will combine radiotherapy, chemotherapy and haematology under one roof, alongside a Wellness Centre where patients and their families will be able to access complementary therapies, support and advice.




Sir John added: "We are grateful to the readers of the Daily Gazette for their generosity to the campaign so far but we still need to raise almost £4 million.

"I am asking everyone concerned about cancer to join me in supporting this campaign to bring the very best cancer care and facilities to our community.”

To make a donation to the appeal, text GAZE11 £10 (or an amount of your choice) to 70070. Alternatively, send a cheque, payable to CoHoC Cancer Centre Campaign, to Colchester Hospitals Charity, Villa 10, Turner Road, Colchester,CO4 5JL or visit and link through to the appeal’s secure online payment page at If you are fundraising for the appeal, contact Caroline Bates on 01206 745282.