Chemotherapy Appeal supporters go purple-mad during special day of fund-raising.

A CAMPAIGN to build a new chemotherapy unit in Barnstaple had somewhat of a purple patch with a host of colour-themed fund-raising events on Friday.

Around the region, people donned purple clothes, baked purple cakes and generally immersed themselves in the colour for the Chemotherapy Appeal’s Big Purple Day.

At North Devon District Hospital, staff in every department went all-out to show their support, many buying specially-made purple t-shirts bearing the appeal logo.

Everyone – from doctors and nurses, physiotherapists, pathologists, medical records and canteen staff – got involved with a splash of purple.

Tesco in Braunton ‘adopted’ the charity in memory of former colleague, Vanessa Yates, who passed away from Leukaemia in February.

Son Ross Yates, who also works at the store said: “Mum spent the best part of two years straight in the chemo unit at Exeter and when she wasn’t an in-patient she was going back and forth two or three times a week for check ups.

“Before mum passed away she told us that her wish was for the chemo unit in Barnstaple to be built so that people wouldn’t have to travel like she did.

“That’s why as a store we have almost adopted this charity to honour the memory of mum.”

The store raised £603.78 on the day.

Down the road at Wrafton, staff at pharmaceutical firm Perrigo also got involved in the fun. Nigel Hammett, a quality supervisor, said: “This is a really important charity to us as quite a few people who work here have had cancer.

“I am a cancer survivor myself and I think it’s in my best interests to support this cause.”

Staff at Marks and Spencer in Atlantic Village, Bideford, wore purple for the occasion and even persuaded customers to buy items of purple clothing.

Sally Ellis, of Bideford M&S, said: “The Bideford store has actually chosen the Chemotherapy Appeal as our charity of the year and we will be holding many more fund-raising events.

“We have colleagues and customers undergoing treatment at the moment and we want to show our support and thank all our customers who have helped us today.”

At the BIG Sheep at Abbotsham, a sheep was sprayed purple to raise awareness before being shorn later that day.

Meanwhile, at the North Devon Gazette office, staff turned to St John’s Garden Centre for help in turning the reception area purple with a sea of flowers and balloons. Customers were also offered purple cakes in return for a donation.

Pupils at Ashleigh Primary School in Barnstaple got dressed up for Big Purple Day, as did North Devon Council staff at Lynton House, who also managed to raise £51 on the day.

By happy chance, the new staff uniforms at St Michael’s Nursery, Tawstock, matched the theme of the day. Youngsters also sported the colour and enjoyed purple cakes.

In Northam a ‘purple fun day’ was held at the Scout Hall on Saturday.

A purple-themed cake sale and non-uniform day at St Helen’s Primary School in Abbotsham last month week raised £254.70.

Chemotherapy Appeal fund-raising manager Ian Roome said: “Once again, I’ve been totally overwhelmed and amazed at the effort that people will go to raise money and awareness for the appeal.

“The Big Purple Day was all about having fun and doing something a little bit different to help improve cancer services for people in North Devon for generations to come.

“We haven’t been able to work out exactly how much money was raised on the day yet but I am confident that it will take us very close to that magic one million pound mark.”