Tuesday 17th June 2014

South West

Each year, over 200 young people from Bristol, Somerset, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Devon and Cornwall, are diagnosed with cancer.

Thanks to fundraising support from local communities, a volunteer committee chaired by Lady Wills, Trust funding from The Garfield Weston Foundation and the John James Bristol Foundation and generous help from corporate partners Home Retail Group, The Football Association, MandM Direct and Societe Generale, Teenage Cancer Trust raised £2.5million to open this new eight bed unit. Named Area 61 by the patients and taking ten months to build, the state-of-the-art unit offers 16 to 24 year olds a place to receive treatment where they can feel at home.

Long term patron of Teenage Cancer Trust, Sarah, Duchess of York, opened the unit and said:

Teenage Cancer Trust is the most incredible charity, helping young people stay teenagers first, cancer patients second. I’ve been a patron for over 20 years and I’ve seen it grow and lead the way in the treatment of teenage and young adult cancer. This new unit will help so many local young people and their families and friends.

A group of young people with cancer were involved in the overall design of the unit and worked with local street artist Dave Bain to develop the wall art. James Lusher, the architect also consulted young people on the furniture designs and colours.

Teenage Cancer Trust ambassadors Jack Lisowski from Cheltenham and Judd Trump, from Bristol, also helped officially open the unit and have been supporting the local fundraising appeal. It’s a cause close to their hearts as at 16 Jack was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Jack said:

It’s a fantastic moment to be here today and the unit is so much better than we could have ever imagined. Teenage Cancer Trust is an amazing organisation and I only wish I had benefitted from being treated here.

Siobhan Dunn, Chief Executive of Teenage Cancer Trust said:

This is an incredibly exciting moment in Teenage Cancer Trust’s history as it’s our first specialist unit in the South West. It’s a remarkable facility and we are very much hoping that local communities and businesses will continue supporting our work here as we need to raise a £1,000 a day to maintain the unit, fund specialist staff and continue our free cancer awareness sessions in schools across the region.