There has been a call for one final push this World Cancer Day to smash the appeal for North Devon’s Cancer and Wellbeing Centre.

The new Cancer and Wellbeing Centre at North Devon District Hospital is set to open in spring 2020. Picture: NDHTThe new Cancer and Wellbeing Centre at North Devon District Hospital is set to open in spring 2020. Picture: NDHT

The centre at North Devon District Hospital is set to open in March but hospital charity Over and Above still needs to raise another £300,000 to meet the £1.5million build cost.

The centre will offer support and practical help for cancer patients and their families, as well as provide three units of overnight accommodation for anyone whose relative is being treated as an in patient at the hospital.

There will be a special public open day towards the end of February with the opportunity to tour the new centre - keep an eye on the Gazette for details.

Fundraising manager Ian Roome urged local people to make a real difference to mark World Cancer Day on Tuesday, February 4 and help get the appeal over the line.

He said: "The centre is a much-needed resource that we have not had here in North Devon, which will be available for people diagnosed with cancer right from the beginning.

"And for people who might have had cancer several years ago, so it will be there for people living with and beyond cancer.

"The national average for people to get cancer is one in two, but in North Devon it is two in three. The main cause of that is skin cancer as we have lots of beaches and rural workers who are out in the sun all the time, as well as with people living longer we have a large elderly population."

Mr Roome thanked local people and the Gazette for all their continued support.

He added: "The centre is completely funded by Over and Above and not the NHS.

"We will need to raise at least £150,000 to run the services within the centre.

"People will be able to drop into it for services and to be signposted to other things such as benefits advice. There will also be other services such as wig fitting and bra-fitting.

"We currently have a waiting list of people who need to see a counsellor and this service will be available to the whole family, including children.

"So if you want to make a real difference to people locally who are living with and beyond cancer, please donate to the appeal. Or if people would like to leave a lasting legacy in their will, please get in touch with us."

To donate, take part in a fundraising event or leave a legacy, please visit www.overandabove.org.uk, call the fundraising team on 01271 311772 or email ndht.charity@nhs.net.