Fishponds nurse calls on people to support £2 million campaign to help Bristol cancer patients
A FISHPONDS nurse is at the forefront of a new campaign to raise £2 million to help cancer patients at Bristol city centre hospitals.
Tracey Arthur has worked at the Bristol Oncology Centre for 23 years, and for much of that time she has also raised money for Above & Beyond, the NHS charity for University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust.
The charity raises money for research, the latest equipment, staff training and improvements to the hospital environment for staff and patients, focusing on things that cannot be provided by NHS budgets.
And while coronavirus has placed massive demands on the NHS and society for most of the year, this month Above & Beyond is focusing its attention on helping those facing a disease which kills 450 people a day in the UK, as it launches a new campaign, Bristol Against Cancer.
Its aim is to raise £2 million to support cancer services across the city centre hospitals.
Tracey, an advanced clinical practitioner trainee, is one of the staff and patients who are speaking out to encourage people to suport the campaign.
She said: “I've been working here at the Oncology Centre for 23 years, and before that I was at the BRI.
“I love the fact that the patients that we see often come back into the hospital, and you get to know the patients and their families.
“Working in the oncology centre can be quite difficult, but at the end of the day it’s a place where we have treatment so I think it's important to increase patients’ morale just by keeping them informed of what's going on and making sure communications are always open.
“You can help morale in lots of ways, but actually just being nice can help someone.
“I started fundraising for Above & Beyond a long, long time ago. For me, what I realised is that when I do a bake sale in the oncology centre, people see me for me, rather than the nurse that I am.
“I feel very passionate about the charity and Bristol Against Cancer. I work in the hospital, but Above & Beyond is side by side with that.”
Hospital staff, former and current patients are joining together for the launch of Bristol Against Cancer on September 7.
Above & Beyond chief executive Paul Kearney said: “It’s time to talk about the other ‘c’ word. Cancer has continued to affect the lives of thousands of local people over the last few months.
“We need the people of Bristol and beyond to come together again and support cancer patients across the South West and ensure they get the best care possible.
“We believe in the NHS. But we know it can’t do what it needs to without us.
“Please join Bristol Against Cancer and help make cancer care in Bristol the best it can be.”
Above & Beyond says figures from the NHS in Bristol show that rates of premature death from cancer were already significantly higher than for the rest of England and it expects demand for the cancer services offered at city hospitals to continue to increase, putting increased pressure on facilities and staff.
The charity is urging people to join Bristol Against Cancer by making a donation. To donate or find out more about fundraising and volunteering, visit the Above & Beyond website at www.aboveandbeyond.org.uk.