Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Charity begins at Chesterfield

At a recent Chesterfield Champions breakfast I was heartened to hear the news that a MacMillan Cancer Centre is to be built at Chesterfield Royal Hospital.

This is a real feather in the cap for the area as it brings together the cancer care and treatment that is currently provided in different locations across the hospital site. There, unfortunately, can be few people in Chesterfield whose lives have not been blighted by this horrible disease, either their own or those of family members or friends. Every year, 1,500 people in North and North East Derbyshire are told that they have cancer.

Costing £8.9 million the new centre is relying on £2.5m of charitable donations to make it a reality. I have no doubt the MacMillan Cancer Centre will open in 2016 as planned as the generosity of Cestrefeldians is renowned. You simply have to look at other charitable causes in the area, large and small – Ashgate Hospicecare, Kids ‘n’ Cancer and Chesterfield Fundraising Group for Cancer Research UK to name but a few, who all tirelessly fundraise and make a big difference to our community.

Fundraising isn’t easy. It involves lots of time, energy and determination, often relying on the goodwill of volunteers, which is very much the case for the Chesterfield Fundraising Group for Cancer Research UK, which is entirely run and managed by volunteers. It recently received Fundraiser of the Year award at the Derbyshire Times Pride Awards, which just goes to show that the old adage ‘charity begins at home’ really does apply in Chesterfield.

It is heartening to see the business community supporting charities, either through the fundraising efforts of their own staff or from the company as a whole. Most recently Franke Sissons hosted a fundraising dinner dance which raised £1250 for local cancer charities Nenna Kind and Ashgate Hospicecare.

It is this goodwill and camaraderie between both residents and businesses that makes Chesterfield such a friendly town, something visitors often remark on when they visit. We have a real’ in it together’ attitude that has enables us to weather storms and emerge stronger for it and the fact we have £1 billion of development happening in the Borough over the next 10 years is testament to this.

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