Big boost for haematology project

Posted on in Fundraising, Hospitals, Support groups

Having already raised almost £18,000 of their £40,000 target to help towards the redevelopment of the haematology day unit at The James Cook University Hospital, from a couple of ‘purple walks’, Mark Stewart and Brian Jones were delighted to have been able to hand over a further £10,000 from the Jack Brunton Charitable Trust.

From left to right: Healthcare assistant Vicky Burton, consultant haematologist Dr Dianne Plews, Brian Jones, sister Alexis Wollaston, project manager Margaret McQuade and clinical matron Anne Dewing.

From left to right: Healthcare assistant Vicky Burton, consultant haematologist Dr Dianne Plews, Brian Jones, sister Alexis Wollaston, project manager Margaret McQuade and clinical matron Anne Dewing.

Mark, age 40, from Middleton Tyas, near Richmond, was diagnosed with chronic cancer last year.  He is a patient on the unit which treats patients with blood cancers and other blood disorders.

Last September, the two best friends organised two ‘purple walks’ last around the Tees Barrage area of Stockton on Tees and more than 400 people rallied to the cause and took part, raising £18,000.

Mark appreciated the unit’s dedicated staff and their efforts to lift patients’ spirits, and provide the best possible care.  He wanted to thank them and do something which would help to improve the environment for future patients and support their recovery.

Currently, the environment for patients and visitors on the unit is far from ideal, and plans are underway to relocate the services to another part of the hospital during this year.

On seeing the news regarding Mark’s ambitious target, the wife of a former trustee of the Stokesley-based Jack Brunton Charitable Trust, Susie Jones contacted Brian because her late husband was also called Brian Jones, and he had received treatment on the haematology day unit for a blood cancer, aplastic anaemia.

On completion of the application the trustees agreed to fund a further £10,000 to the project.

Jack Brunton farmed a considerable amount of land in the Teesside area. He decided to put a large sum of money into a trust that would support teams, village halls, conservation within the county of North Yorkshire, but not to individuals. The trustees meet and decide who should get financial help.

Brian’s widow Susie said: “When Brian died the trustees wanted to support the haematology department and this donation is very special.”

Donations can still be made at http://www.justgiving.com/purplewalk or text – GLAK64 – plus the amount you wish to donate to 70070.

Paul Watkins, head of fundraising for South Tees Hospitals Charity, said:  “We very much appreciate this helping hand.  Money raised will help us to provide a first class facility for treating patients with blood cancers and other blood disorders – designed with the patient in mind.”

South Tees Hospitals Charity covers The James Cook University Hospital and the Friarage Hospital as well as community services. All donations given are used to enhance patient care over and above the core services and facilities that the NHS provides.

Further details are available by contacting the charity team on 01642 854160 or visiting their website at www.southtees.nhs.uk/charity.