The Gazette is proud to support Over and Above’s new appeal for a £1.5million North Devon Cancer and Wellbeing Centre which launches today (Friday).

A £1.5million appeal to build a brand new cancer and wellbeing centre in North Devon is launching today (Friday).

Hospital charity Over and Above is launching the North Devon Cancer and Wellbeing Centre Appeal for the new unit at North Devon District Hospital (NDDH).

The centre will support people with cancer and other illnesses, as well as their loved ones.

Ian Roome, head of fundraising at Over and Above, said: "We are really excited to launch our new appeal.

"Our vision is for the Cancer and Wellbeing Centre to be a bright and welcoming space where patients will find all the information they need to support them, including advice and guidance with financial issues, and emotional and psychological wellbeing.

How the new Over and Above Cancer and Wellbeing Centre will look.How the new Over and Above Cancer and Wellbeing Centre will look.

"We want it to feel less clinical than the hospital environment and we think this will make a real difference to our patients with cancer and other illnesses, and their families and loved ones too."

READ MORE: Get ready for the Great Purple Weekend in North Devon

The Gazette will be the official media partner for the appeal, after supporting the charity's previous £2.2million appeal to build the chemotherapy unit at NDDH.

The new building will have an open-plan lounge diner, a clinic and complementary therapy room, private counselling rooms and a meeting/activity room, which will be suitable for activities such as exercise classes.

People will be able to access services that can help following a diagnosis and after receiving treatment, including counselling and psychological support, financial and benefits advice, hair loss support, and health and wellbeing events and courses, whether as a patient, carer or relative.

How the new Over and Above Cancer and Wellbeing Centre will look.How the new Over and Above Cancer and Wellbeing Centre will look.

The plans for the Cancer and Wellbeing Centre will also include a relatives' accommodation wing, which will have three en-suite family rooms.

These will be for use by relatives, carers or friends who urgently need to be nearby whilst a loved one stays in hospital overnight, and can be used for up to five nights.

Mr Roome said: "We know our patients benefit from having their loved ones nearby, and we hope the accommodation wing will help people out in their time of need.

"This could be used by relatives of a patient who is nearing the end of life, or a parent whose child is staying on Caroline Thorpe children's ward overnight.

"They will be far enough away from the hospital setting for respite and support, whilst remaining close enough to return to the main site quickly if necessary."

READ MORE: Prince Edward opens North Devon's new chemotherapy unit

This new appeal follows the charity's latest successful campaigns to raise £250,000 to purchase equipment for the Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU).

Roger French, chairman of Northern Devon Healthcare Trust, said: "The community has really come together to support our previous appeals.

"Over the years we have been able to provide fantastic equipment and more that goes over and above what the NHS is able to provide to support patients.

"We could not have achieved any of this without your hard work and donations.

"Together with your support, we can make a difference, so please get involved and support our new appeal in any way you can."

The Gazette would like to hear your fundraising stories and is encouraging its readers to get involved with fundraising for the new centre.

Over and Above kicks off its fundraising today (Friday) with
it's Great Purple Weekend.

Find out more about the appeal on the Over and Above website.

To find out more about the Over and Above charity, visit www.overandabove.org.uk, the charity's Facebook page, contact the fundraising team on 01271 311772, or email ndht.charity@nhs.net.