Dedicated staff at Swindon construction company Beard, in Faraday Road, have raised £15,344.75 for the Brighter Futures Radiotherapy Appeal to equip a new radiotherapy satellite centre planned for Great Western Hospital (GWH) with vital clinical equipment. The donation comes as part of a year-long, company-wide fundraising campaign in celebration of the firm’s 125th business anniversary. The significant sum was raised over 12 months by the firm’s Swindon staff through numerous fundraising events.
Beard’s Swindon director Marc Bayley says: “I’m extremely proud of all our Swindon staff who have worked really hard to raise this money for the Brighter Futures Radiotherapy Appeal. The new satellite centre will make a huge difference to patients’ journey times for cancer treatment enabling them to have radiotherapy much closer to home. We’re delighted to have been able to contribute to this extremely worthy cause which will benefit cancer sufferers and their families in our community.”
Swindon and many areas within Wiltshire are one of the very few parts of the country which currently do not have access to radiotherapy services for cancer patients within a 45-minute travel time. Around 700 patients annually make the arduous 70-mile round-trip to the Churchill Hospital in Oxford for radiotherapy. Treatment usually lasts for a period of four to seven weeks, made up of daily visits.
Money raised by staff was match-funded by The Beard Charitable Foundation. Set up in 2016 by the Beard family, The Foundation provides funding support to employees in their charitable and community pursuits across the South of England. It also makes grants of around £20,000 annually, as well as strategic donations to local charities for projects which promote construction industry careers.
The Oxford University Hospital is investing £17.7 million to bring the much-needed facility to Swindon and Brighter Futures is fundraising an additional £2.9 million which will contribute towards the purchase of important clinical equipment within the building. The new radiotherapy unit at the GWH site will be a satellite of the Oxford Cancer & Haematology Centre which is based at the Churchill Hospital.
Catherine Newman, Brighter Futures’ head of fundraising, says: “For over 10 years, local people have campaigned and called for radiotherapy to be provided in Swindon. The Radiotherapy Appeal offers a chance to make this a reality and support the biggest improvement in cancer care that Great Western Hospital has ever seen. Thanks to the incredible fundraising efforts of Beard we are now a step closer to seeing this dream turn into a reality.”