IN just six months the Hereford Times has reached its target of £60,000 to fund an extra nurse for two years at a breast cancer support centre in Hereford.

The One in Eight Appeal was launched on July 2 and the generosity and imagination of the Herefordshire community means have raised £61,139.57 for The Haven in 26 weeks – donations averaging more than £2, 350 a week throughout that period.

The appeal was so successful so quickly that it was extended in October and the target doubled from the original £30,000 due to the overwhelming response by readers.

A new nurse, Suzie Taylor, will start at the centre in St Owen Street in January and will help deliver the important services which support women diagnosed with breast cancer.

Breast care nurse and Haven manager, Helen Crilly, said: “We are very excited at reaching the total as quickly as we did. It is fantastic news – we just want to thank all of the general public for their help and support and the Hereford Times for backing us on this.”

The number of visitors attending the Hereford Haven rises every year and for many of them it is a real lifeline, helping them – and their families – to cope with the physical and emotional impact of their breast cancer, and to achieve the best possible quality of life.

The centre receives no government funding yet provides counselling, nutrition advice and a number of complementary therapies including acupuncture and massage.

It works closely with the senior breast care nurse at Hereford County Hospital.

Haven fundraising manager, Frankie Devereux, said: “The backing from the Hereford Times not only raised money, which is really crucial, but it also raised awareness of women affected by breast cancer.

“We actually had one lady who went to see a GP as a result and was diagnosed.

“In the past we have had women come here who said they wished they had known about us when they were diagnosed.

“But now women affected by breast cancer are aware of the Haven and come to us straightaway.”

The appeal has had large donations from the Acre Accountancy team who trekked the Sahara and raised £13,500, and The Merry Millers who raised £13,111 from a black tie auction event.

This month, Lord Scudamore Academy raised £1,408.15 from a cake sale, The Bishop of Hereford’s Bluecoat School collected £1,400, and Tim Evans donated £3,000.

A lunch at Castle House in Hereford with special guest Linda Bennett, from the fashion house LK Bennett, pushed us over our final total by raising £1,625.

Hereford Times editor Clive Joyce said: "It has been a fantastic effort by the Herefordshire community.

"We have been stunned by the swift and overwhelming support of organisations and people from all walks of life.

"Reaching the target so quickly says so much about the generous nature of this county. All contributions have been important to us, and have made a real difference."

He added: "Recent years have been financially difficult for many people, but their willingness to help others has never wavered."

The centre continues to need funding and the Hereford Times will continue to cover future events which have already been planned to support the One in Eight Appeal.

The Haven makes no charge for its core support services and needs to raise £300,000 a year to cover the costs.

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