Cuppa for Cancer Care took place from January 30 to 5 February 5, with people asked to get together for tea, coffee and cake in aid of the Gloucestershire-based charity.
TV presenter and patron of Hope for Tomorrow Gloria Hunniford OBE, who lost her daughter Caron Keating to breast cancer in 2004, launched the initiative to coincide with World Cancer Day on 4 February.
Hope for Tomorrow builds and provides mobile cancer care units to NHS trusts, who drive out to treat patients in communities rather than patients having to make long and sometimes stressful journeys to hospital for their cancer care.
Inside, the units are just like hospital treatment rooms, with four treatment chairs, chemotherapy pump stands, and medical storage facilities.
They are equipped with air conditioning and a cooling and heating system for patient comfort, as well as a toilet and kitchen.
Eleven NHS trusts currently have mobile cancer care units and last year they provided more than 26,000 treatments.
Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust took delivery of the world’s first mobile cancer care unit in 2007 and since then has been providing treatment to patients across the county.
The unit, called Helen, in memory of a friend of the charity’s founder who passed away from cancer, currently allows patients to be treated in Stroud, Cirencester and Cinderford.
Tina Seymour, Hope for Tomorrow chief executive, said: “We are blown away by the support we received through the Cuppa for Cancer Care initiative. Hundreds of people took part at home and work and we are pleased to say we are planning to make this an annual event around World Cancer Day each year.
“The money raised will enable us to continue to maintain our existing units and expand our services. It costs £212 a day to keep a mobile cancer care unit on the road so fundraising is vital to keep the service going.”
Hope for Tomorrow’s latest patient feedback shows that, on average, for each treatment, patients save two-and-a-half hours, 20 travel miles, and £6 on parking.
With treatment lasting several months and sometimes years, the time and financial savings can be considerable.
Seventy-one percent of patients said they can tolerate their treatment more easily on a mobile cancer care unit, while 47% felt that they were more likely to complete their full course of treatment. Next year’s Cuppa for Cancer Care will take place between February 4 to 10 – sign up at hopefortomorrow.org.uk/cuppa
Hope for Tomorrow is a charity dedicated to bringing cancer care closer to patients. It builds and provides mobile cancer care units for NHS trusts across England, working in partnership to help as many cancer patients as possible.
The mobile cancer care units drive out to patients’ communities rather than patients having to make long and sometimes stressful journeys to hospital for their cancer care treatment.
Each fully equipped mobile cancer care unit houses four treatment chairs allowing NHS cancer care nurses to treat up to 40 patients a day.
The average time a patient saves for each appointment is 2.5 hours, which significantly reduces the impact on their working lives and their families. It also makes them less dependent on others for transport.
It currently provides 15 mobile cancer care units and 13 nurse support vehicles to 12 NHS trusts. In 2020 the units allowed the NHS to deliver over 26,000 treatments in local communities.
For more information and to find out about other upcoming fundraising opportunities visit hopefortomorrow.org.uk