IT was thanks to you the dream of building a new cancer centre for north Essex became a reality.

After four years of tireless campaigning from the Gazette, Colchester Hospitals Charity, and fundraising groups, awareness has been raised of the importance of a state-of-the-art facility.

Now, the £3.25million target is close to being reached and the life-changing centre is within months of being built.

Now, we are calling on you for support again.

The Cancer Centre Campaign is in the running for a national press award.

As part of a 26-strong shortlist, the Gazette campaign is in with a chance of winning best regional newspaper campaign of the year.

The winner to be chosen by public vote so we are asking for your support.

The Making a Difference award, organised by press marketing body Local Media Works, aims to highlight the power of local newspaper campaigning.

The public vote will go live on Monday – the start of Local Newspaper Week – with the winner to be announced by News Media Association chairman David Dinsmore at the Regional Press Awards ceremony in London on Friday.

Run by Local Media Works, the annual Local Newspaper Week and Making a Difference campaigns celebrate the role played by local newspapers in communities, and herald the value of trusted local journalism.

This year, Local Newspaper Week is celebrating its 20th anniversary.

To celebrate campaigning for positive change, the annual Making a Difference award invites members of the public to vote for their favourite newspaper campaign from the past year.

The Gazette is up against stiff competition including the Glasgow Evening Times which is nominated for its Opt for Life campaign which saw a change in Scotland’s organ donation laws.

Another shortlisted entry is the Manchester Evening News’ #WeStandTogether following the terror attack in 2017, which raised £1.5 million in a day for families of the victims.

Caroline Bates, head of fundraising at the Colchester Hospitals Charity, said: “When the Cancer Centre Campaign began in 2014 we hoped the community would support the project.

"The Gazette and their readers have backed us all the way and we are incredibly grateful to them.”

Editor Dominic Bowers said: "We are proud to have supported the Cancer Centre Campaign from the outset.

"It is at the heart of what we do, to be at the heart of the community and fight for it.

"Thousands of lives will be enhanced thanks to the facilities being offered at the new centre and everyone who has played a part in seeing it come to fruition, should feel proud."

To vote for the Gazette visit and click on the button for The Colchester Evening Gazette Cancer Centre Campaign.

There will then be an option to vote for that particular campaign. The option to vote will go live at 9.30am on Monday and will close at 5pm on Wednesday.