People in North Devon have been urged to ‘buy a brick’ and help get the Cancer and Wellbeing Centre Appeal over the line.

Work on the North Devon Cancer and Wellbeing Centre is underway. Picture: Over & AboveWork on the North Devon Cancer and Wellbeing Centre is underway. Picture: Over & Above

The Over and Above hospital charity appeal now stands at £900,000 and work has started on the new centre but the appeal total still has away to go to the £1.5million target.

The centre at North Devon District Hospital will support all cancer patients and people living after cancer in North Devon and doors will open in spring 2020.

Over and Above fundraiser Julie Whitton said: "It is a very exciting time but we still need lots of help with our fundraising.

"If every family in North Devon could contribute around £25 to the centre it would help us achieve our target. It really is achievable if we all pull together."

Gail Stoneman has raised more than £13,000 for the North Devon Cancer Centre Appeal. Picture: Over & AboveGail Stoneman has raised more than £13,000 for the North Devon Cancer Centre Appeal. Picture: Over & Above

Cancer patient Gail Stoneman is so determined to see the centre built she has raised more £13,000 over the past two years with the help of her local community.

She is constantly fundraising and has just had her head shaved as she starts another round of treatment.

She said: "I have been receiving treatment in the chemo unit at the hospital for more than nine years and I cannot emphasise enough how much this centre will mean to me.

"I will be able to get all the support I need locally instead of travelling to Exeter.

"I urge you to dig deep and help get this centre built. This could happen to anyone locally and this will help support patients and their families through what is a difficult time."

The centre will include an open-plan lounge diner, a clinic and complementary therapy room, private counselling rooms, and additional rooms suitable for activities such as exercise classes, bra fittings, 'look good, feel great' days and much more.

It will support patients through every stage of their journey, from diagnosis, through treatment and beyond.

This will be a first for North Devon, with the nearest cancer support centres currently in Exeter, Plymouth and Torbay.

The centre will also have a separate wing providing accommodation for individuals and families with loved ones in hospital.

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.