On Thursday 31 March, HasleWorks – a new co-working space in Haslemere Town Centre – hosted a reception to thank members of the local community for supporting Jeremy Hunt MP’s fundraising campaign for the new Cancer & Surgical Innovation Centre at Royal Surrey NHS Foundation Trust, and to raise awareness of the need for further funds.


Following a welcome from Helen Bowcock, Founder of HasleWorks, Jeremy Hunt conveyed his thanks to everyone who has given to the campaign to date, which is seeking to raise £1 million towards the total cost of the new facility.


With demand for cancer surgery growing, and earlier diagnosis along with advances in effective treatments becoming possible, the new Cancer & Surgical Innovation Centre will meet this demand and will help to save lives.


Jeremy Hunt, along with Royal Surrey NHS Foundation Trust CEO, Louise Stead, and Mr John Stebbing, Chief of Surgery Division, provided further information about the new Centre, which would enable Royal Surrey to become the pre-eminent cancer hub in the South East.


With one in two people developing cancer at some point in their lives, and current UK survival rates falling short of those in many other countries, the new Centre will provide world-class facilities to enable surgical teams to deliver exceptional care.  The introduction of the latest technology – including robotic surgical equipment for cancer and other benign diseases – along with increased theatre and treatment capacity, will enable more patients to be treated at RSCH, helping to significantly improve outcomes and to save lives.


Guests also heard from local resident Rod Plutheroe, who talked about his own cancer battle and the amazing service he received from Royal Surrey. Rod said:


“I’m delighted to be involved in this campaign – I know from my own experience just how brilliant the team at Royal Surrey are. By supporting them with this new Centre, this first-class team can treat more people and help give cancer sufferers the best possible chance of recovery.”


Jeremy Hunt MP said:


“It is a frightening statistic that one in two of us will face a cancer diagnosis in our lifetime. Most of us have or will be affected by cancer and so we must do all we can to beat this horrible disease. I have been truly humbled by the generosity of people and am pleased to announce that to date, we have raised over £100k towards our initial £1m goal. We’ve a long way to go, but I want to thank everyone who has donated and ask others to help if they can.”


Helen Bowcock, Founder of HasleWorks and Trustee of the Hazelhurst Trust, said:


“We were delighted to host this event at HasleWorks, and to support Jeremy Hunt in this admirable fundraising campaign.  The addition of the new Centre will bring tremendous benefits to our local community, and Matthew and I are very pleased to provide a grant from The Hazelhurst Trust to kickstart the campaign in Haslemere.”


Louise Stead, Royal Surrey NHS Foundation Trust CEO, said:


“Since Jeremy’s launch of our campaign for the Centre last year there has been huge momentum. My team are now just incredibly enthusiastic to start treating our first patients. Jeremy has helped us get this project off the ground, now we need your help to finish the job.”


For further information and to support the campaign:


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Photo (left to right): Matthew Bowcock, Jeremy Hunt MP, Louise Stead, John Stebbing, Helen Bowcock and Rod Plutheroe