How the cost of a brew is helping to boost Lancashire's cancer care

The Rosemere Cancer Foundation coffee shop volunteers at their annual social . The Foundations Chief Officer Dan Hill is pictured (standing third from left).
The Rosemere Cancer Foundation coffee shop volunteers at their annual social . The Foundations Chief Officer Dan Hill is pictured (standing third from left).
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A cup of coffee is indeed a splendid thing, just ask the Rosemere Cancer Foundation..

The Preston-based charity doe not only savour the aroma of the beverage’s beans, it smells the money too.

In the past 12 months cups of coffee and tea and other drinks and snacks have raised an incredible £10,508 to boost its funds.

Now the charity, which benefits cancer patients throughout Lancashire and South Cumbria, has put that cash to good use.

The proceeds from its coffee shop have helped to pay for the refurbishment of six clinic rooms in the radiotherapy department at the Rosemere Cancer Centre at the Royal Preston Hospital.

Each week these rooms are used by more than 300 patients for consultations and examinations. They are also used for “first day” chats with new patients and as rest rooms as patients wait for admission or transport home or even choose to have a lie down.

Peter Merry, the department’s pre-treatment team leader, said :“These clinic rooms are vital spaces in which our staff offer support, give advice and deliver the best care that they can, but the rooms had become tired and dated.”

The fund-raising foundation topped up the coffee shop funds with an extra £5,218 from its coffers to ensure new furniture, new lighting, art work and workstations could be installed and walls colour-washed.

Dan Hill, Rosemere Cancer Foundation’s Chief Officer, said: “The money raised by the coffee shop, plus a little bit extra, has enabled us to create rooms that now have a modern, fresh feel and are less clinical, ensuring that the patient experience is the best it can be. Our coffee shop volunteers do an absolutely fantastic job year on year, providing a much appreciated service that has real tangible benefits for patients. I can’t thank them enough.”

The coffee shop relies on 100 volunteers, working in shifts lasting between two and five hours to maintain its services. It opens from 8.30am to 7.30pm on weekdays and from 9am to 5pm on Bank Holidays.

Marion Jackson, along with husband Graham ,has been a coffee shop volunteer since it opened in 2002 and is now its manager. She said: “The only qualification anyone needs to become a volunteer is a smiley face!”

Since 2002 the coffee shop has raised more than £250,000 through the sale of refreshments, but all patients and those who accompany them receive a free hot drink of their choice when they arrive. Customers often donate change to collection boxes on the counter and there is also a display area for Foundation cards and donated items .

Meanwhile the Foundation has also welcomed another charitable initiative which has lead to the installation of special ceiling panels in a newly refurbished radiotherapy treatment room at the Rosemere Cancer Centre.

The virtual sky panels with dimmable lights, which it is hoped will help reduce a patient’s stress and anxiety during treatment, cost just over £4,000 .

The bill was shared by the HVM Foundation, the charitable arm of the HVM Group, which includes the Preston-based Voi Jeans brand and also by the Yorkshire Building Society Charitable Foundation.

Habibullah Munshi, of the HVM Foundation, said: “Born and bred in Preston, we are delighted to give something back to our community...

“As a new foundation, our aim is to inspire lives and this will be one of many charitable projects we aim to contribute towards in the coming months and years.”

Staff at the Preston Fishergate branch of the Yorkshire Building Society had also been pleased to nominate the Rosemere Foundation for an award. Branch

manager Kim Reynolds said: “We’re committed to supporting local charities where our members live and work...We’re delighted to see the donation being

put to such good use in helping patients relax at what can be an extremely stressful time.”

Foundation Facts

The Rosemere Cancer Foundation is a charity which works “to bring world class cancer treatments and services” to cancer patients from throughout Lancashire and South Cumbria being treated at Rosemere Cancer Centre, the region’s specialist cancer treatment centre at the Royal Preston Hospital, and at eight other local hospital cancer units.

These units include units at Chorley and South Ribble hospital, Blackpool Victoria hospital and the Lancaster Royal Infirmary.

*Find out about becoming a coffee shop volunteer by ringing Marion Jackson on 01772 718252.