A fundraising campaign to enhance cancer care in North Wales has received a substantial boost with a £75k donation from Older People’s charity the Royal Voluntary Service.
The gift - awarded to the ‘By Your Side’ campaign, which is being spearheaded by Welsh rock musician and cancer patient Mike Peters - will support the costs of a major expansion of Ysbyty Gwynedd’s Alaw Unit, which will begin in the new year.
The substantial donation is an accumulation of the profits taken from the Royal Voluntary Service’s shop and tea bar in Ysbyty Gwynedd, which receives support from over 270 volunteers.
The services at the hospital give customers much more than a place to buy refreshments and gifts; volunteers provide a friendly face and sympathetic ear for patients and those visiting loved ones at the hospital.
Plans to expand the Alaw Unit were revealed in October. The £1.17 million project is being funded exclusively through charitable support.
The development will double the current number of consultation rooms and increase the Day Unit’s capacity by 40%, while an increase in specialist treatment areas will enable some patients from North West Wales who currently have to travel to England for treatment to receive their treatment on the Alaw Unit.
The RVS’ generous donation will help fund the construction of the new Outpatient Department waiting rooms and reception area, as well as the disabled toilets and an assisted shower room on the Unit.
Karen Cross, Locality Manger for RVS said:
“We know that two thirds of all new cancer cases are in people aged over 65. The RVS are very pleased to be able to help ensure that older people can receive the very best treatment for cancer locally.”
The existing Alaw Unit was opened in 2000, after a public appeal by the Gwynedd Haematology and Cancer Relief Fund raised £1.2 million to fund the development. Since then, the number of patients receiving treatment on the Unit has doubled, leading to cramped conditions and increased waiting times.
“The demands on the Alaw Unit are increasing by as much as 20% every year because of an increase in the number of people being diagnosed with cancer, and patients living longer with the disease” explained Cancer Services Chief of Staff Sharon Thomas.
“Patients who receive treatment on the Alaw Unit have some of the most positive patient satisfaction scores in Wales, but there is an urgent need to update and expand the Unit to enable us to deliver excellent standards of care for an ever increasing number of patients. The new development will enable us to deliver the very best care that the people of North West Wales deserve.”