A FUNDRAISING pledge to improve services for cancer patients at Dorset County Hospital has been given a £100,000 boost thanks to a legacy donation.
West Dorset MP Sir Oliver Letwin joined the fundraising team at DCH as they gratefully received the sizeable donation from trustee George Dean, acting on behalf of the wishes of his late friend Lawrence Werth.
Just a year after fundraising began, the donation brings the hospital’s cancer appeal to £960,000 of a target £1.7 million.
The money raised will be used to provide a bespoke outpatients department on top of a new radiotherapy building with rooms for counselling and consultancy.
Retired businessman, Mr Dean said: “Lawrence was a kind and gentle man, and a good friend of mine, with no relatives in the UK. When he died he left his inheritance in a trust, leaving me in charge. He left everything for cancer charities. Living in Dorchester, we are aware of the community fundraising need in the town and after hearing about the cancer appeal we decided to give a substantial sum to DCH.”
After a two-year battle with skin cancer, Lawrence Werth passed away aged 57 last year.
As the former chairman of PC Werth, the country’s largest supplier of specialist hearing products, Mr Werth was a respected figure in the healthcare industry.
Mr Dean, accompanied by his wife Gaynor, daughter Lorna Smart and granddaughter Georgia Smart, met with Sir Oliver to gift the money to the DCH charity.
Speaking at the cheque presentation Sir Oliver said: “It is a pleasure to be here, after all it is a marvellous contribution. £100,000 is however just one seventeenth of what is needed so I hope this donation is just the beginning for much larger donations.”
The new facility will mean cancer patients from the west of the county will no longer have to travel to Poole for radiotherapy.
Andrew House, Head of fundraising for the DCH charity, said: ““From a fundraising point of view legacies are hugely important to charities like ours, they are a lifeline. We have been absolutely stunned by the support from the community we got the first donation last year and now we are at £960,00.
“It’s hugely important when people get diagnosed with cancer they have the facilities they need, it has a huge impact on the families, at the moment we have limited space and some patients have said they haven’t shared what they are perhaps feeling because they are behind a curtain. The new facilities will give patients the dignity they deserve.”
Supporters of the appeal have included the Fortuneswell Cancer Trust, which has pledged £350,00, and organisations such as the Ducks and Drakes Cancer Trust, Friends of Dorset County Hospital and the GO Girls Cancer Support Group.
For more information about the Dorset County Hospital Cancer Appeal and how to get involved visit dchft.nhs.uk/charity