PEOPLE are rallying round to ensure patients receive radiotherapy treatment close to home with £1,000 donated towards a dedicated unit in Swindon.

Rodbourne restaurant Lalbagh backed a drive to raise £2.5m for a radiotherapy centre, organising a charity dinner there last month.
The evening was also the occasion for the Bangladeshi eatery to celebrate its relaunch after a revamp of its premises.

Guests, who were treated to a five-course traditional meal, donated generously, raising £968.

Lalbagh staff then came up with the missing £32 to reach their intended £1,000 target.

Abdul Amin, who owns the Lalbagh in Rodbourne Road, said: “The event was part of an opening celebration we had following the refurbishment and we had many loyal customers along and they donated all the money for the radiotherapy unit.

“I think it’s so important to support anything that can help people’s health, especially with cancer. Cancer affects everyone one way or another and it’s affected my family too, so I just wanted to do something to help other people.

“I am so pleased we can donate £1,000 towards a dedicated radiotherapy unit that should one day see the end of Swindon people having to undertake an arduous daily return journey to Oxford for their cancer treatment.”

Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust board proposed earlier this year to pay £14.7million for a new unit to be built at GWH with the Swindon hospital asked to raise the remaining £2.5m necessary to make the service a reality.

Cancer patients in and around Swindon currently have to travel up to 90 minutes each way to Oxford to use one of five machines available. This is significantly more than the 45 minutes recommended by the National Radiotherapy Advisory Group.

Jen Green, head of fundraising at GWH, welcomed the donation.

She said: “We haven’t officially launched the appeal yet for the radiology unit but when the time comes it will make a huge difference.

“A dedicated radiology unit at Swindon will save patients from travelling all the way to Oxford or Bath to have radiotherapy treatment, and will make their recovery much easier. They’ll be far less tired and they won’t have to make a two-hour round trip just for 10 minutes of treatment.”