Local anglers have reeled in £2,600 to go towards the redevelopment of a hospital facility for treating patients with blood cancers and other blood disorders.
The Lower Tees Angling Association holds an annual blue ribbon event at the start of the fishing season – The James Cook Hospital cup – which attracted more than 90 competitors.
The winner of the trophy – which was generously paid for by Middlesbrough car dealership SG Petch – was Craig Devlin from Stockton.
Match secretary Jeff Herbert said: “The idea for the cup came about after my wife received treatment for cancer, and later septicaemia, at the hospital. I’m pleased to say she’s fine now and the care she had was second to none.”
The Environment Agency also sponsors an annual match on the river Tees which gives the agency information on fish stocks. The winner of this match was Lower Tees match secretary Jeff Herbert.
Now the money raised through the tournaments will be put towards an appeal to redevelop the haematology unit at the Middlesbrough hospital.
Currently, the environment for patients and visitors on the unit is far from ideal but plans are underway to relocate the services to another part of the hospital in 2014.
Clinical director of haematology Dr Diane Plews said: “The current environment is far from ideal for patients and their visitors, who often have to spend a lot of time sitting around due to the nature of their treatment.
“We want to provide a first class facility for treating patients with blood cancers and other blood disorders – designed with the patient in mind.”
Chairman of Lower Tees Angling Association, Dave Munt, added: “We’d just like to thank the angling clubs, especially Billingham and Stockton who made a further donation and Darlington angling club for making the Environment Agency tournament possible.”
Robbie Stevenson from the Environment Agency said: “These matches work well to give us a snapshot of our fish stocks and help us to identify gaps between years. Plus they’re a great opportunity to get anglers on the river and to help out worthy causes.”