£1m campaign gets under way

PUBLISHED: 08:56 31 January 2008 | UPDATED: 21:21 31 May 2010

Louise Barnes Picture:SUBMITTED

Louise Barnes Picture:SUBMITTED

SAFFRON Walden is leading the way in the campaign to raise money for a new teenage cancer unit. A meeting was held last Wednesday in Saffron Walden Town Hall to officially launch the appeal - as revealed in the Reporter last week - to raise £1 from every

SAFFRON Walden is leading the way in the campaign to raise money for a new teenage cancer unit.

A meeting was held last Wednesday in Saffron Walden Town Hall to officially launch the appeal - as revealed in the Reporter last week - to raise £1 from every person in the town.

Regional appeals manager for the Teenage Cancer Trust (TCT) Helen Bearfield-Smith said: "This is exactly the sort of thing the charity needs to help us reach our target.

"It was the first meeting of its kind in the area - we hope others will follow Saffron Walden's lead."

Town clerk Malcolm White and his wife Kate were elected chairman and vice-chairman of the fund-raising group aiming to raise £15,000 for the new TCT unit that will be built at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge.

Saffron Walden MP Sir Alan Haselhurst was delighted to be patron of the group. He said: "I know Malcolm very well and, after the premature death of his son Tom, he has seen first hand what needs to be done to help treat young cancer patients.

"I think £1 per person is a very reasonable target. Malcolm has served the town for many years and I'm sure lots of people will want to support the charity for him."

The cost of the new 10-bed TCT unit is £2 million and they are hoping to raise £1 million of this through local initiatives such as the Saffron Walden campaign.

Former cancer patient Louise Barnes, 26, who spoke at the meeting said: "A specialist TCT unit at Addenbrooke's would offer great benefits to young cancer patients and give them the support they need to fight the disease."

Ms Barnes, from Sewards End, was diagnosed with osteosarcoma (bone cancer) in 1997, when she was 14-years-old. She was then struck three more times with the disease, once in 1999 and twice in 2001.

Now cancer-free for six years, the former pupil of Saffron Walden County High spoke passionately to the 50-strong audience about the need for a new TCT unit.

Numerous donations were made on the night, the highlight being the presentation of a cheque for £3000 by Tessa Goddard from the Saffron School of Dance. The money was raised from their dance show Do You Wanna Dance? at Saffron Walden County High School.

Anyone wanting to donate should contact Malcolm White at the town council on 01799 502355 or visit the town council office at 11 Emson Close, Saffron Walden.

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