FUNDRAISERS are celebrating after reaching a massive milestone in their bid to build a new cancer treatment centre.

The Gazette-backed Cancer Centre Campaign hopes to raise £3.25million to build a state-of-the art facility at Colchester General Hospital in Turner Road.

And now bosses from Colchester Hospital’s Charity believe the end is in sight after fundraising broke through the £2.5million barrier.

Staff on the Mary Barron Suite, where cancer is treated, now have topped up their running totaliser which keeps track of the fundraising.

Head of charity and fundraising Caroline Bates said she was confident the total would be raised by February.

She said: “We have been hovering around the figure for a while and we thought it was time we updated the banner and showed people how we are doing.

“Building a new cancer centre is absolutely vital.

“We speak to a lot of patients and their experience of the Mary Barron Suite is that the staff are wonderful but we know things can be improved there.

Gazette: new colchester hospital charity cancer centre campaign logo

“In some cases you can have palliative care next to people who are bringing in cakes for staff as a celebration of finishing their treatment which obviously is hard for people who are facing a much worse future.

“Patients can come for treatment for years afterwards - it is not the sort of hospital appointment you attend and then never think about again.

“Some people are having treatment for months and months and years and years.

“It has to be a place where they are comfortable in coming.”

The new cancer centre would see the chemotherapy and haematology services brought next door to the radiotherapy unit.

The charity has already received a number of generous contributions, including a £6,000 donation by Essex Mechanical Services, which is based at the Peartree Business Centre, in Stanway, a £1 million pledge from a generous benefactor which will be given if the £3.25 million target is reached by February, and anonymous donations of £117,000 and £11,500.

Fundraisers have also taken on a range of challenges throughout the summer with staff accepting donations from at least one sponsored event per weekend.

To donate to the appeal, text Gaze11 £10 to 70070 or whatever amount you wish to donate.

Alternatively, fundraisers can sign up to take part in events or donate money to the appeal via the CoHoc website on