Heading into the year of its 21st birthday in 2023, Hope For Tomorrow, a charity that brings cancer care to patients across Gloucestershire, is encouraging people across the county to get together for tea, coffee and cake in aid of mobile cancer care, as part of its 'Cuppa for Cancer Care' campaign.
Offering a welcoming environment for patients to have cancer treatment, Hope for Tomorrow provides patients with a space to receive treatment without being in a hospital; as well as helping to alleviate some of the strain on NHS hospitals.
Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust received the world's first mobile unit back in 2007; since then, Hope For Tomorrow has been able to provide them to 11 NHS trusts across the country - last year alone, the units allowed for more than 26,000 treatments to take place.
Headed by television presenter Gloria Hunniford and sponsored by Janes Pantry, 'Cuppa for Cancer Care hopes to see friends, families and colleagues raise vital funds to support mobile cancer care.
Taking place from Monday 30 January to Sunday 5 February, the initiative coincides with World Cancer Day on Saturday 4 February 2023.
Those taking part have the option to host their event wherever they want - be it in their home, office, or village hall - helping NHS cancer patients to receive their treatment closer to their home or work, instead of travelling lengthy distances to hospital.
Plus, fundraising packs are free to order through the Hope For Tomorrow website.
Hunniford said: 'Cancer can take a terrible toll on individuals and their families. Travelling for repeated treatment is often difficult, stressful and time-consuming for so many people. The mobile cancer care units and specialist NHS nurses drive out to patients’ communities, rather than them having to travel to hospital. This makes a difficult time that much easier for them.'
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 money on parking - with ongoing treatments, the time and financial savings can be substantial.
Seventy-one per cent of patients said they can tolerate their treatment more easily on a mobile cancer care unit, with nearly half saying that they were more likely to complete their full course of treatment.
Tina Seymour, Hope for Tomorrow chief executive said: 'The mobile units allow cancer patients to have their treatment in a much more convenient way, taking away the disruption that long journeys can bring.
'They tell us that it makes a huge difference to them and they love the friendly atmosphere provided by the NHS staff and drivers. It costs £212 a day to keep a mobile cancer care unit on the road, so fundraising is vital to keep the service going.'
The Gloucestershire cause hopes that businesses will consider making Hope For Tomorrow their charity of the year in 2023.
For more information, or to get involved, visit hopefortomorrow.org.uk.