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Cancer Care & Haematology Fund
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Charity names new trustees

Buckinghamshire charity, the Cancer Care & Haematology Fund (CCHF), has announced the appointment of three new trustees.

The CCHF was set up in 1990 to raise funds to help patients diagnosed with cancer or a blood disorder by funding the construction of a specialist unit at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, near Aylesbury.

Today the charity continues to provide financial support for treatment facilities at both Stoke Mandeville and High Wycombe hospitals.

Dr Ann Watson, Chair of the Trustees, explained: “As with all charities, we have been greatly affected by the coronavirus pandemic over the past two years. We felt it was important to take the opportunity to review our strategies aimed at improving the treatment of patients, and the services for staff, at the two hospitals.

We are increasing the number of trustees to ensure that we have a broader range of both technical and general business skills to call upon so we can carry our charity forward and meet our goals.”

Dr Watson added: “There is still plenty of room for new ideas and there would be a warm welcome to others who have additional skills they could bring to this enthusiastic and friendly group, either as trustees or as volunteers. We need fundraisers, but also ambassadors, to promote and raise awareness of the charity and all it does, throughout the community.”

The three new trustees are:

Dr Joe Browning was appointed in 2018 as a consultant haematologist at Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust. He originally studied medicine at the University of Oxford and then completed his specialist haematology training on the Oxford rotation. He works at the Cancer Care and Haematology Unit as well as the Sunrise Unit at High Wycombe Hospital. He lives with his wife and two young children in Buckinghamshire.

Marie Pennell is a highly qualified nurse, having gained a Bachelor of Science Degree in Cancer and Palliative Care at Oxford Brookes University in 2006. She later gained qualifications in haemato-Oncology and stem cell transplant at the University of West London. Marie has worked in chemotherapy nursing at both the Cancer Care and Haematology Unit, Stoke Mandeville Hospital, and at the Sunrise Chemotherapy Day Unit, High Wycombe Hospital. From 2010 she has been a haematology clinical nurse specialist at Stoke Mandeville. Marie, aged 64, is married with three children. She is a trustee of a charity that supports orphaned and vulnerable children in Uganda.

Mike Snell is a corporate communications specialist with more than 40 years’ experience in journalism, public relations and public affairs internationally. Until he retired in 2013 Mike was head of external affairs for the UK arm of the Spanish construction and resources business FCC. For 14 years he was a director of a not-for-profit organisation distributing cash to qualifying community projects across England, Scotland and Wales. Aged 71, Mike is married with two grown-up sons and lives in Stone, near Aylesbury. He is also the official photographer for Aylesbury United Football Club!

Among the benefits that CCHF has brought to cancer care and haematology are:

High tech specialist equipment for the CCHU and Sunshine Unit such as scalp coolers, used during chemotherapy to minimise hair loss, and reclining chairs for the optimum and most comfortable delivery of treatment.

A long tradition of investing in expert nurses who can bring extra levels of skill and expertise and give more precious time to those going through treatment and their families, to listen and advise, and be available in an emergency.

Creation of a supportive and pleasant environment for those going through difficult times and those who work with them. Most recently the CCHF has funded a beautiful garden created by volunteers, who turned a piece of underused land into a tranquil outdoor space at a time when the indoors was restricted.

A free wigs service for those receiving chemotherapy and who lose their hair due to the treatment.

The space needed to continue to deliver high quality care to cancer and haematology patients in the surroundings that have made these departments so special is increasingly under pressure. The practices which were needed to give safe care throughout the coronavirus pandemic - many of which are still ongoing - required changes in how some things were done. The CCHF is supporting the hospital financially as plans are developed to continue to deliver the best clinical care possible for local people, in pleasant and comfortable surroundings and with good supportive care – the things for which everyone has long been so proud.

The CCHF has always been grateful for the support received from local people and businesses so we can together help the hospitals provide best care for all those that need it, on their doorstep.

The CCHF charity is run by local people who, through personal or professional experience, understand the good it can do. CCHF is small and has no paid employees. All the trustees give their time for free to ensure that almost every penny raised goes directly to improving cancer and haematology treatment facilities in Buckinghamshire, and the minimum goes on the management of the charity itself.