THE chairman of a campaign to create a £3.25million Cancer Centre in Colchester has warned it will be a “disaster” if the remaining cash needed to secure its future isn’t raised.

Just ten months remain before time runs out.

The campaign, backed by the Gazette, has been boosted by a £1million donor who will says they will give their money only if the rest of the balance is met by February.

The exact amount needed is £988,000 as combined with the benefactor's pledge and other donations, the running total is £2.26million so far.

Peter Wilson, campaign chairman, said: “If we cannot raise this extra money we will lose and the hospital will lose this opportunity.

“It would be a disaster.”

He added: “The person who pledged this money felt this had been going on for some time and we need a realistic date for support.”

Mr Wilson described the campaign, launched in 2015, as now being at a "critical time".

“Finding some other major donors is going to be very beneficial but we have had a lot of support from the local community and smaller amounts build up.

“I think it is important we harness more local support.”

One of the ways of doing is to encourage village communities around Colchester to pitch in.

Next month it is hoped informal meetings can be held either at Colchester General Hospital – the proposed home of the cancer centre – or in those communities.

By visiting the hospital, Mr Wilson said he hoped groups could be shown the £24million radiotherapy centre which opened in 2014 and which will complement the new cancer centre.

They could also see the portable cabin currently being used for chemotherapy treatment before the cancer centre is built which staff, campaigners and patients have all described as unsuitable.

“This facility is needed by the people of Colchester and the surrounding area now.

“We cannot afford to wait. The existing chemotherapy centre is based in a Portacabin.

“It doesn’t have sufficient capacity and doesn’t afford privacy to some patients who might have to stay for some hours.

“We don’t have a ‘wellness centre’ either.

“We are looking for somewhere which is dedicated to providing information to cancer sufferers about treatments. We have got nowhere for sufferers to meet together and share experiences.

“We don’t have anywhere to provide complimentary therapies which have been demonstrated to improve people’s chances of recovery,” he added.

The original fundraising target for the centre was set at £4.5million but Mr Wilson admitted it has started to look “daunting”.

The aim remains the same, to allow all cancer services - including clinical treatment and support services - to be brought together in one location.

Now under the revised plans, space near Gainsborough wing at Colchester General Hospital, will be used to create the cancer centre.

The new chemotherapy and haematology department will be built on top of the radiotherapy centre.

It will feature 37 treatment suits which will be designed to offer more privacy to each patient.

Mr Wilson, a retired businessman, added: "We have spoken to a lot of people who have expressed interest and I am sure there are people out there perhaps still considering whether they want to donate.

"We want to stress if you can help and are thinking of helping, now is the time to help us in getting this extra £988,000.

"It is going to be a big effort, three months ago we hadn't had one million pounds but it is such a big stretch to achieve this amount of money in the ten months that remain - it is almost £100,000 a month."

For more information on how you can support the campaign, visit

Visit the Gazette's dedicated Cancer Centre Campaign page at

Are you fundraising for the cancer centre campaign? Tell us your story by calling 01206 508414 or email