FIVE months after the charitable arm of the Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust began their mammoth effort to bring a £2.9m radiotherapy unit to Swindon fundraising has hit the £200,000 mark.

Brighter Futures officially launched the appeal in May to put an end to the gruelling 70-mile round trips to Oxford's Churchill Hospital which are made by hundreds of patients each year.

Now treatment, which will be provided by Oxford University Hospitals Trust (OUH), could be available from the dedicated centre as early as December 2017.

Jennifer Green, Brighter Futures' head of fundraising said: "I am delighted that we've reached this milestone and we thank everybody who has given their time and energy to our appeal.

"The support we've received from local people is absolutely fantastic and truly inspiring.

"It's been overwhelming how many people have got involved and it really feels like something the town and beyond have really got behind.

“It’s a fantastic achievement, but we've still got a long way to go. If you would like to get involved or show your support, please check out our website for details of our upcoming events or get in touch with us by phone.”

Hundreds of people have given their support to the appeal, including Coleview Community Centre committee member Jake Henley, who hopes events at the centre will help raise £5,000 by the end of the year.

"It's amazing that £200,000 has now been raised," said Jake, who works in the IT department at GWH.

"I think it's because of my connection with the hospital that the community centre decided to raise money for Brighter Futures really and, of course, it's something which affects everyone.

To find out how you can support the Radiotherapy Appeal visit or phone 01793 605631.