A GENEROUS donation of £1,000 has lifted the spirits of staff at Colchester General Hospital.

The William of Colchester Lodge for Essex Freemasons made the donation to help fund a new cancer centre.

Alan Green, charity steward and Nicholas Gloc, master of the lodge, presented a cheque at the Mary Barron Suite.

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

Charity steward Mr Green said: “A number of our members have been treated at the unit and we thought it was about time we gave something back.

“We have about 44 members and we have a vote and decided we wanted to present them with the cheque.

“I visited the unit and its a nice, serene place. It’s important to have a cancer centre in Colchester.”

The Cancer Centre Campaign, which is supported by the Gazette, has already received a number of generous contributions, including a £1million pledge from a generous benefactor which will be given if the £3.25million target is reached by February.

Caroline Bates, head of fundraising for Colchester Hospitals Charities, which is leading the appeal, said: “We were delighted to receive this boost to the campaign fund as we have almost £700,000 to raise, so every donation helps to make a difference.”

To donate to the appeal, text Gaze11 £10 to 70070 or whatever amount is preferred.

Alternatively, sign up for fundraising events or donate money to the appeal via the CoHoc website on www.cohoc.org.uk