CONGRATULATIONS to everyone who has helped to turn the dream of a new cancer centre into a reality.

The Collingwood centre at Colchester Hospital opens on Monday and it is testament to all those who contributed in whatever way.

Some donated money, some raised money and others told their moving and sometimes painful stories to raise awareness of the need for better facilities.

Each and every one should be enormously proud of their contribution and of what they have done to make the lives of others that little bit better.

As it stands, the outdated chemotherapy and haematology unit are at one end of the hospital housed in rather tatty temporary buildings.

It is a quarter of a mile hike from there to the new radiotherapy unit.

The new centre sits conveniently next to the unit and also includes support services and alternative therapies.

The comfortable chairs and a calm setting won’t save lives - that is down to the expertise of the medics and the technology they use.

But they will make the experience of cancer treatment a bit more bearable and will put a better focus on life after cancer.

It will also make the liaison between staff in each centre easier and help relieve some stress for the patients.

The Gazette has supported the campaign from the outset and we are proud to see it come to fruition.

We are also proud to be part of a community which cares so much for the wellbeing of others.