Late last year, we started looking out for a new charity partner. We wanted to support a cause that mattered to all of us. Months of deliberation later, we’re very happy to announce our chosen charity for 2020 is Hope for Tomorrow. It seems particularly appropriate to introduce them and explain how they won us over today, World Cancer Day.
Hope for Tomorrow works in partnership with NHS trusts to provide cancer care closer to people’s homes, taking away the need for them to travel long distances to get care in hospital. It makes life a little bit easier for people with cancer, at a time when it’s most needed.
The charity provides and maintains special Mobile Cancer Care Units (MCCUs) and drivers. With four treatment chairs on board, each unit can treat up to 20 patients a day. MCCUs visit a number of locations each week to give treatments, based on where they can have the biggest impact.
While there are MCCUs all over the country, like us, the charity is based in Gloucestershire where we have our own vehicle, Helen.
At the moment, patients are able to use Helen in Cinderford, Cirencester, Stroud and Tewkesbury.
Hope for Tomorrow doesn’t get any government funding and it’s very expensive to buy and maintain their highly specialised vehicles. It costs around £200 per day to keep just one MCCU on the road, and with 12 to keep running, plus back-ups, that’s a lot of cash to find.
The charity was founded by Christine Mills MBE in December 2003, after she lost her husband David to cancer. The couple had had to travel from their home to the oncology centre for treatment; a journey of nearly 60 miles.
Christine wanted to start a charity to take away the extra anxieties of travelling. She met Dr Sean Elyan, Consultant Oncologist and Medical Director at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Trust and discovered that he had a vision to bring chemotherapy closer to the patient.
It inspired her to make the dream become reality and the charity raised enough money to build the world’s first Mobile Cancer Care Unit.
And so it’s on to a year of fundraising, with the agenda shaping up nicely. Hope for Tomorrow fundraising manager Nikki Budding came in last week to talk about our plans for the year. The eagerly anticipated Target Golf Day is already booked in for Thursday 4 June and we have a few surprises up our sleeves.
Nikki said “We are delighted to be chosen as Target’s charity partner. Our mobile cancer care units mean so much to cancer patients as they enable them to have their cancer care closer to home, saving them time and energy to be with the people that mean the most. As a small charity making a big impact (with more than 17,000 treatments administered across our fleet in 2019) Target’s support will go a long way to helping us to keep the wheels turning.”
Find out more about Hope for Tomorrow