Building work is set to begin next month on a brand new cancer and wellbeing centre for North Devon.
Thanks to numerous donations and grants, the £1.5million appeal by Over and Above to build the centre at North Devon District Hospital has now surpassed the £800,000 mark.
The new cancer and wellbeing centre in Barnstaple will be a one-of-a-kind facility for North Devon, with the nearest cancer support centres currently in Exeter or Plymouth.
With a host of treatment rooms, counselling rooms and a large group meeting room, the centre will support cancer patients through every stage of their journey, from diagnosis, through treatment and beyond.
It will also provide accommodation for families who have a relative being treated in the hospital, whether in A&E, the Special Care Baby Unit, or even Intensive Care.
Ian Roome, head of fundraising at Over and Above, said around 9,000 people are referred to Northern Devon Healthcare Trust for cancer treatment a year, and 1,700 patients annual are diagnosed with cancer.
Mr Roome said: “Once built, this incredible centre, with overnight accommodation, will be the first dedicated centre of its kind locally.
“This will be a significant step forward to meeting the rising demand for cancer services locally, and provide support from diagnosis to after care.
“Cancer can affect every part of your life and people need financial, emotional and practical support, as well as medical treatment.”
Despite topping the half way mark, Over and Above still needs the support of the community to help reach its target and bring the idea to life.
As well as this, the charity will need to raise around £110,000 a year to sustain the running of the support centre, once it opens in December this year.
Mr Roome added: “We’re just half way through the appeal now, and if anyone wants to take part in any fundraising or sponsored events to help get the final sums in, it would be phenomenal.
“We need people who want to make a difference for the cancer patients in North Devon.
“Being in such a rural area, it is vital we have a facility like this. We shouldn’t be left behind just because we’re in a rural area.”