A public appeal has been launched to raise £600,000 to provide a dedicated Breast Cancer Unit at Noble’s Hospital.
The campaign has been launched by the Manx Breast Cancer Support Group, an island-registered charity which supports local breast cancer patients.
Breast surgeon Millie Bello first unveiled her aspirations for the new unit during the charity’s AGM in June this year – and realising the value of such a facility, the group was determined to make the dream a reality.
Plans will involve moving the Audiology Department, presently located on the ground floor of Noble’s, to the first floor alongside the ENT Clinic. The area gained will then be re-fitted and refurbished and a small extension added to provide a dedicated area for the Breast Unit. Estimated cost is £600,000.
The breast cancer charity is in the process of working on a partnership agreement with the Department of Health, which will enable it to take on the responsibility of creating this new unit.
President of the charity Brenda Cannell MHK said: ‘We are not just looking at funding for the Unit but envisage an exciting and innovative way of working in partnership with government, and this initiative will benefit not only breast cancer patients but ENT patients and Audiology.
‘There is an urgent need for government to work with the third sector in new and different ways if we are to maintain and improve vital public services. If we are successful, this would pave the way for similar initiatives. This is ground breaking for the Isle of Man.’
Health Minister David Anderson MHK has given his support: ‘I have given my commitment to cover the cost of the relocation of the Audiology Department to the ENT Clinic to free up the space required for a Breast Unit.
‘Government is unfortunately not in a position to cover the cost of the Breast Unit but we are delighted the Manx Breast Cancer Support Group charity is prepared to take on the task of delivering this new facility.’
Mrs Cannell added: ‘We are calling upon the generosity of the island’s people to help us raise the money to build this vital unit. Donations have already been received and we cannot thank people enough for the time and effort they are putting in.’
Anyone who wishes to make a donation is asked to contact charity chairman Julie Stokes on 484950 or by sending a cheque to MBCSG, c/o Mrs Anne Dowds, Treasurer, 4 Victoria Avenue, Onchan, IM3 1BD.
To launch the appeal, the charity has arranged a special three course Charity Dinner Excursion to Castletown and back on the Steam Railway, on Friday November 8.
The evening will begin at 7pm with pink champagne and canapés at Douglas railway station, followed by dinner served during the journey. Tickets are limited and cost £45 each, and can be obtained from Scissors Hair Salon, Onchan Precinct or call Julie Stokes on 484950.