MP for North Swindon

Justin Tomlinson MP

Swindon Advertiser Column: This Is A Fantastic Way To Support Our Local Community

 


In December, I was delighted with the news that Brighter Futures had reached their fundraising target for a new radiotherapy unit at the Great Western Hospital. It was the culmination of a three-and-a-half-year campaign to raise £2.9 million to purchase key clinical equipment for the unit.

This week it was confirmed that Ministers had signed off on final part of the project, meaning work can begin on the new unit in the spring of next year which is absolutely fantastic news.

The new unit is a vital addition to healthcare services in Swindon, and will greatly improve experiences for people battling cancer in the town.

Currently, patients requiring radiotherapy have to undertake a 70-mile round trip to Oxford or Bristol – which is a huge inconvenience for people already facing the stress of cancer. Once the unit has been completed, patients will be able to receive the treatment they need without worrying about how they will make such a long journey, and their loved ones won’t have to worry about finding the time to make such a long journey to support them.

I am very proud that along with my South Swindon colleague Robert Buckland I have been involved with the Brighter Futures fundraising campaign from the start; hosting fundraising events at my community office, and lobbying Health Ministers and the Chief Executive of NHS England.

It has been particularly wonderful to watch the town come together to raise such an impressive amount.

It is going to be very interesting to watch the unit being built; I believe Brighter Futures is hoping to install a webcam so people can keep an eye on progress, and I am very much looking forward to it opening its doors to patients.

Finally, tonight sees the start of pre-season football locally with Swindon Supermarine taking on Swindon Town.

The annual friendly, hosted by Supermarine, always draws a big crowd and it’s a fantastic way for families to spend a sunny Friday evening.

We’re very lucky to have two well-run, well-supported sides locally whose fans overlap and watch both teams week-in, week-out. Both sides are targeting promotion this season, and it would be fantastic if we were celebrating Town & Supermarine going up come May.

This year the match will also be an opportunity to support a wide-range of local charities and community groups including the Wiltshire Air Ambulance and Hjälpande Händer (‘Helping Hands’ in Swedish).

Hjälpande Händer is a fantastic, new local charity that gives young adults with special needs the chance to get paid work - involving them in all aspects of the business in a fun, safe atmosphere which helps build confidence & real life work skills.

The Hjälpande Händer team will be serving tasty hot dogs & snacks as well as their speciality coffees and homemade cakes!  In addition to their catering trailer, they will also be walking round the sidelines selling snacks throughout the match.

Kick off is 7.30pm, with tickets just £10 for adults & £6 for concessions. Under 12s get in for free!

With the weather looking good, I hope to see plenty of you on the touchline at the Webbswood Stadium this evening and for the season ahead.

 

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