Grand charity night raises £2,400

To say thank you for the fabulous care given to her grandfather, Alex Eckford, at Harrogate Hospital’s Sir Robert Ogden Macmillan Cancer Centre and the support from Macmillan after he was diagnosed with blood cancer, Georgina Green organised a grand charity night to raise money for both Macmillan and Harrogate Hospital & Community Charity.

On Saturday 21 November 2015, Georgina and her family and friends took over the Harrogate Conservative Club for a charity night of fundraising.

The night was a great success with an amazing £2,402.14 being raised through a range of fundraising activities including tombola, raffle, auction and a quiz. The night finished off with a disco and everyone had a wonderful time all in memory of Alex.

David Fisher, Community and Events Fundraiser at Harrogate Hospital & Community Charity, said: “Thanks to the amazing support of people like Georgina, Harrogate Hospital and Community Charity is able to provide funds for pay for specialist equipment, research and patient and family support that would otherwise not be there, making a real difference to patient and their families when they need it most.”

Georgina said: “After all the support and care that the amazing nurses gave my granddad in his time of need I felt that raising money to say thank you was the way forward but didn’t think for one minute how much I would of ended up raising.

“It was a challenge doing the event which I did enjoy a lot and with amazing support from friends and family we made it happen, I just hope it inspires others to do the same.”

Michaela Ryder, Fundraising Manager for Macmillan, said: “We are a national charity with a local heart, and believe that no one in North Yorkshire should have to face cancer alone. Cancer is a cause that touches almost everyone and the need is now greater than ever, with over 3,500 new cancer diagnoses every year across the area. As a charity we rely almost entirely on voluntary donations, so the work we do simply wouldn’t be possible without the fantastic support of people like Georgina, and we’d like to say a huge thank you to her and her family from everyone at Macmillan!”

The Building Better Healthcare Awards has declared the Sir Robert Ogden Macmillan Centre at Harrogate District Hospital the winner in the “Patient Experience – Best Internal Environment” category. The Centre was praised for its mix of art, interior design and landscaping to create a “welcoming” space for treatment and support.

Opened in March 2014, The Sir Robert Ogden Macmillan Centre at Harrogate District Hospital is an outpatient oncology centre which provides state-of-the-art consulting, treatment and patient support facilities, as well as a cancer information centre. The build was made possible thanks to a £3.5 million donation by philanthropist Sir Robert Ogden. This figure was matched by Macmillan Cancer Support, while Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust provided £2 million. The centre was built to replace an older unit at the hospital, which wasn’t large enough to meet a growing need.

Simon Henderson, Head of Service Excellence and Support at Macmillan Cancer Support, said: “We know that good physical environments support personal wellbeing, contribute to positive treatment outcomes, and enable caring and effective staffing. By listening to what patients and staff told us they wanted, we have turned the traditional treatment centre on its head and put their needs at the heart of this inspiring building.”

The BBH Awards judges added: “This has been designed to enhance outcomes and there is expansive use of design to connect the inside and outside spaces.The building is welcoming, with lots of informal spaces to sit, and patient privacy, preferences and accessibility have informed the design throughout.”

The Centre includes a treatment area, which has 14 chairs for patients to receive chemotherapy, and separate surgical areas for procedures such as blood tests. There is also space for six clinic rooms, two rooms for counselling and a staff room. By the main entrance is the supportive care, health and wellbeing area, where services include patient information and support, complementary therapies and welfare benefits advice.

Sir Robert Ogden said: “I am delighted that the Centre has been recognised in this way. It is a superb resource for the people of North Yorkshire and I am proud to have funded the project with Macmillan. My wife and I take particular pleasure in the award because together we contributed fully to the development of the design of the interior.”

Sarah Grant, Macmillan Patient Information and Health & Wellbeing Manager at The Sir Robert Ogden Macmillan Centre, said: “We’re really pleased the Centre has been recognised in this way, especially because staff, patients and their relatives were so involved with the design. We know from the feedback we receive from staff that it is a very positive and modern environment to provide care, and patients particularly appreciate how the design features maintain their privacy and dignity.”

Construction of the Centre began in autumn 2012 and was completed by the end of 2013. Staff and services moved across in March 2014. The design of the Centre was heavily influenced by patient representatives and delivers Macmillan’s Quality Environment Mark (MQEM) – a benchmark for cancer patient experience. Receiving the award were the architects for the project, IBI Group.

The Building Better Healthcare Awards “celebrate innovation and improvement” in buildings, medical devices and people working in the healthcare industry. The annual awards are attended by more than 500 representatives from the NHS and healthcare industry.

An upcoming book, Tea & Chemo, recounts a local patient’s experience of cancer, and raises money to help support the work of our wonderful team at the Sir Robert Ogden Macmillan Centre.

When Jackie Buxton was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 45, she lurched between the crippling fear that the cancer had spread, and great comfort that she was one of the lucky ones because the medical profession aimed to cure her.

Determined to learn as much as possible about her condition, Jackie devoured patient information leaflets and online articles. But what she really wanted to read was the account of an ordinary person being treated for cancer who, crucially, emerged on the other side still smiling.

Unable to find anything, Jackie decided to do what she does best: write. Detailing her experiences in a blog, she soon found that people began to write to her saying that her blog had helped them in their own struggle with cancer. Delighted to be having an impact on others, Jackie realised that she had much more to say.

What started as a blog grew into the book that Jackie wanted to read when she was diagnosed: “the truth coated with positivity and optimism”. Tea & Chemo was born.

Jackie was treated at Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust’s very own Sir Robert Ogden Macmillan Centre, and to give something back to the team who supported her so well, she’s now chosen to donate one third of the book profits to the centre.

Jackie said, “The team of staff at the centre were responsible for turning the emotionally and physically difficult experience of having chemo into something almost pleasant – honestly. I never felt as secure and cared for as when I was attending the Centre every three weeks. Indeed, when I was pronounced unsuitable for the injection of Herceptin to be administered at home, and instead would need to continue attending the hospital every three weeks to receive it intravenously, nobody was more pleased than me. I’d like some of the proceeds of Tea and Chemo to go to the department to show my gratitude to all the staff and volunteers as well as to attempt to do something small for all cancer sufferers and their loved ones.”

Tea & Chemo: Fighting Cancer, Living Life, is published by Urbane Publications and will be available from book stores and on-line (paperback and eBook) from 23rd November 2015, priced £7.99.

For more information about Jackie, please visit her blog ( or her website (