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The Melvin

ChemoCare 2004-2005

ChemoCare has been, so far, the largest single project undertaken by Southport Lions. Almost every family is touched, somewhere, sometime, by cancer, and the opening of a Day Unit in Southport for the delivery of chemotherapy made life much easier for local residents. We decided to help. The story is told from the conclusion back to the beginning, so you will know that we succeeded!

21st November 2005 The Opening Ceremony


We've finally made it!

The new Unit has been Officially opened at a ceremony attended by the Chief Executive of the Southport and Ormskirk NHS Hospital Trust, Mr Jonathan Parry - shown here at the left of the picture - with medical and administrative staff, and representatives from the four local Lions Clubs who have participated in the ChemoCare project.

A commemorative plaque was unveiled by Miss Danielle O'Brien, who in 2004 won the competition to "Name the Squirrel" which was held in The Champion newspaper. Danielle who is, herself, a veteran of chemotherapy, chose "Wilbur" as her entry, as this had been the nickname given to the equipment which delivered her treatment.


The plaque celebrates the generosity of the people of Southport and the surrounding areas who gave over £35,000 to the Chemocare Campaign, and the help which Southport Lions received from fellow Lions in Douglas Valley, Formby & District, and Ormskirk & Maghull Lions Clubs. Also commemorated is Heather Abram, who arranged Chemocare fundraising events with the Banks Brass Band, and who, sadly, died just a couple of months before the end of the project.


There are a small number of jobs still to be finished - the PC which will enable patients, friends and relatives, to access information will be connected to the internet; and some seats or benches will be provided for the garden area just outside the treatment rooms. But the main thing is that the feedback from the most important people, those who use the Unit, is positive. And that makes it all worthwhile!

Hover your cursor

22nd August 2005 The First Patients!


Monday 22nd August saw the very first patients arriving at the new Medical and Oncology Day Unit. With only a few jobs still to do, the Unit is ready for business.

17th August 2005 Nearly Ready!


Work has been progressing at the most amazing rate. Just look at the pictures below, taken only just over two weeks ago, and compare them with those taken today. Wow!

The decorations are complete, the new floor is laid, the curtaining is ready for hanging, and before long the furniture will be moved in.

This is the exciting part - where we can begin to see the end results of all the generosity and hard work on all sides, which has marked the Chemocare project right from the start.

29th June 2005 We Didn’t Really Do This, Did We?


In another low-key meeting at the Southport & Formby District General Hospital, a cheque for £1,500 for additional furnishings was handed over from ChemoCare to the Cancer Care staff. This brings the total grants to date from ChemoCare funds to £29,000.

In due course, in the fullness of time, and all that, we will be showing a few more snaps of how the work is progressing. In the meantime our hard-hatted friends are hammering and bashing for all they are worth. Well Done Chaps!

Treatment of Medical patients began today, while the first Oncology clinic will be held in two weeks time, on 5th September.

TV equipment, and a PC which will be available for patients, friends and relatives to use, will be delivered within the next few days. Pictures and other items to soften the starkness will also be installed, providing a more relaxed atmosphere for everyone.

1st August 2005 The Day Unit Takes Shape


New pictures have been received of the work progressing in what is now the Medical/Oncology Day Unit, 'the ward formerly known as 4B'

The current schedule is for the Medical Day Unit to commence operations on 18th August, and the Oncology Clinics to start in early September. The furniture and soft furnishings are due for delivery on site in mid August.

Our hard-hatted friends are not especially keen at having civilians wandering around the works, but they have allowed some photographs to leak out. We are assured that they really do know where all the bits go.

4th June 2005 Orders Placed For Ward Furniture


In a low-key meeting at the Southport & Formby District General Hospital, a cheque for £15,000 was handed over from ChemoCare to the Cancer Care staff. This money will provide specialist chairs which will be used for the delivery of treatment to less-well patients, together with regular chairs, sofas, coffee tables and other items. All of these have been specified to comply with the high standards of the Unit.

25th April 2005 Orders Placed For Ward Refurbishment Materials


A cheque for £5,000 has been handed over for the first stage of the refurbishment of the Chemo Unit. With input from the architects and designers, the NHS Trust have prepared lists of materials which will be required to provide curtains and curtaining between the treatment units for the Chemo Ward.


Of course, it is not as simple as popping down to the nearest discount store! Everything which is bought has to meet all sorts of standards and requirements - Health and Safety, and Infection Control, to mention just two. Added to which, it all has to look good and provide value for money!


Southport Lions ChemoCare Project Team are working closely with the hospital to ensure that the money raised for ChemoCare is used in ways which meet the objectives set out for the Campaign

5th May 2005 Douglas Valley Lions Donate To ChemoCare


We are delighted to report that two most generous donations have been received from Douglas Valley Lions. The Club has presented ChemoCare with a cheque for £1000, and one of the members of Douglas Valley Lions Club has made an individual donation of £500. This magnificent gesture brings the total raised so far to nearly £35,000.

16th March 2005 CASA ITALIA hosts Charity Event for ChemoCare


Well-known Southport restaurant CASA ITALIA provided a super venue when host Terry Edwards offered a sumptuous Spanish Night on 16th March. Tapas were followed by a choice of Paella dishes, and rounded off by a medley of desserts. Highlights of the evening included the very best of guitar music, and a Charity Raffle - top prizes were donated by a number of local businesses including Julie McKenzie Travel (Southport)

Seen in the picture are Jo Paine, Lions Steve Paine (Secretary) and Chris Leather (President), and Terry Edwards.


Sales of tickets for the Charity Raffle produced no less than £275 and this was topped up, in a magnificent gesture, by CASA ITALIA so that the ChemoCare Campaign received a Grand Total of £500. Many thanks go to Terry, the staff of CASA ITALIA, and to the diners, for their outstanding generosity.

15th March 2005 Artist's Impression of new Chemo Unit Reception Area


The first artist's impressions of the reception area of the new Chemo Unit have been released. The sketch shows the preliminary concepts being worked on by the Hospital architects and the interior designer Kate Hilliker. The outline of the colour schemes for the waiting and treatment areas has been agreed, and the layouts are being planned. As soon as the designs are completed, they will be posted on this website! The current schedule for the implementation is May to July 2005.

26th January 2005 How can we say "Thank You" loudly enough?


A generous donation from a local Club has this week taken the ChemoCare Campaign to a total, raised and committed, of £32,000. This represents a more-than-100% achievement of our target, and means that the aims of the Campaign can be fulfilled. Already, equipment bought by the Campaign is in use, providing treatment to patients. A prominent local designer is working with the Hospital architects to produce a schedule of works for the refurbishment of the Ward, which is currently in the plan for May 2005. None of this would be possible without the generous support of the public but, much as we would like to, we cannot say "Thank You" individually to everyone who has donated. So here is a big "THANK YOU" to everbody!

19th November 2004 CHEMOCARE WORKS!


In the centre of the picture is the evidence that the ChemoCare Campaign is making a difference! The natty blue box is an infuser pump, which automatically delivers chemotherapy to patients. Four of these have now been bought by the Southport & Formby DGH at a cost of over £7,500 with funds provided by the ChemoCare Campaign.

Everyone who has given time, money and encouragement to the Campaign deserves a pat on the back, not least West Lancs Primary Healthcare Trust, whose Director of Public Health Aislinn O'Dwyer is seen to the right of the pump. WLPCT presented a cheque for £2,000 to Ormskirk Lions Club on behalf of the ChemoCare Campaign. The cheque was received by Ormskirk Lions' President Carole Grey (front right) and Lion Bill Jones (back left)

“A single pound is all we ask

to set the squirrel at his task

of raising money here and there

for Southport Lions ChemoCare”

Our Original Proposition


Cancer is a disease which will affect nearly all of us at some point in our lives. Some of us will experience first hand the shock of diagnosis and treatment. Most of us will experience this at one remove as the relative or friend of someone personally affected.


On-going developments mean that the success rates for the treatment of cancers continue to improve, but it is easy to forget that, for their families and friends, every patient is the most important patient in the world, and not just part of a grand statistic.


For every high, there is often a low.


For many patients, their treatment will include one or more courses of chemotherapy, each dose of which can take several hours to administer. Most patients from Southport, Ormksirk, Formby and the surrounding areas have had to travel to Clatterbridge on the Wirral for their treatment. By public or patient transport, this represented hours of travelling and waiting around, in addition to the time taken for the treatment itself.

But starting in September 2003, increasing numbers of local residents have been able to receive chemotherapy at a new unit being established at the Southport and Formby District General Hospital.
While the treatments are being administered appropriately, funds are not available to provide all the equipment which is required to release nursing staff from repetitive tasks which can be better done by machine, or to provide a comfortable and comforting environment for patients who require a maximum of support during a difficult time.
Southport Lions project team have consulted closely with the Hospital Trust management, the Cancer Care staff, and our sister Lions Clubs at Ormskirk and Formby, in order to obtain the widest support before taking up the challenge. We have enlisted support from local businesses and the media. The reaction of local people to news of the project is very heartening.

We aim to raise funds to provide

   * computer controlled infusion pumps
   * appropriate hospital-grade furniture and decorations
   * TV and IT equipment for patients, visitors and staff
   * books, magazines and activity-related materials

Our target is £30,000

We realise that nothing we can do will turn a course of chemotherapy into a must-do day out, but we are determined to create an easier, brighter and more comfortable environment for all those who need this Unit.

The Chemocare project is now closed. All the funds which were raised or donated to support this project have been spent on Chemocare and on the patients whose illnesses have made it both necessary and worthwhile. Our thanks go to everyone, those generous members of the public who gave so much, our contacts at the hospital who worked so smoothly with a bunch of amateurs (!) and, of course, our fellow Lions who put in so much hard work for so long.

Chemocare Dialysis Unit Floral Southport Haiti Relief Spinal Unit Kitchen Tsunami

Where to go from here

Work on the Ward is now well in hand, with the interior nearly unrecognisable! This is the point when you finally realise that you can only go forward - going back is no longer an option!!!!

We decided against sticking with the Techno look. This, we are pleased to say, is merely a step on the way. All the tubes and pipes and cables and ducts that make a modern building work will be discreetly hidden, and all will be tastefully decorated. We hope!

The artistic lighting effects are not created by natty floor mounted uplighters. No. It is simply the sun streaming in. Not a fluorescent tube in sight. Oh that it could be ever thus!