TCT opens new unit

The Football Association’s official charity partner Teenage Cancer Trust has opened a new specialist unit that will play a vital role in helping young people in years to come.

The FA has been working with the charity across the past 18 months, helping to raise hundreds of thousands of pounds thanks in large part to the generosity of staff and England supporters. 

Some of that money has gone towards the £2.5m needed to open a new eight-bed unit at Bristol Haematology and Oncology Centre. 

Named Area 61 by the patients and taking 10 months to build, the state-of-the-art unit offers 16-to-24 year-olds a place to receive treatment where they can feel at home.

Each year, more than 200 young people from Bristol, Somerset, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Devon and Cornwall, are diagnosed with cancer.

Jack Butland has spoken of his admiration for Teenage Cancer Trust

Jack Butland has spoken of his admiration for Teenage Cancer Trust

England U21 goalkeeper Jack Butland, who was brought up in Clevedon not far from the new facility, said: “It is great to hear about the opening of the new cancer unit in Bristol. 

“As someone from the area, I am delighted The FA has been supporting Teenage Cancer Trust over the last 18 months and been able to play a part in what will be an invaluable facility for youngsters across the south-west. 

“We were all touched by the story of Stephen Sutton and it reminds us just how vital the work is of organisations like Teenage Cancer Trust.”

Across the UK, seven young people are diagnosed every day. Traditionally treated either on a children’s ward or on an adult ward often alongside elderly patients, young people can feel extremely isolated during treatment, some never meeting another young person with cancer. 

The new unit in Bristol cost £2.5m to build

The new unit in Bristol cost £2.5m to build

Being treated alongside others their own age, by experts in teenage and young adult cancer care, can make a huge difference to their experience.

Long-term patron of Teenage Cancer Trust, Sarah, Duchess of York, opened the unit and said: “Teenage Cancer Trust is the most incredible charity, helping young people stay teenagers first, cancer patients second. 

“I’ve been a patron for over 20 years and I’ve seen it grow and lead the way in the treatment of teenage and young adult cancer. This new unit will help so many local young people and their families and friends.”

Siobhan Dunn, chief executive of Teenage Cancer Trust said: “This is an incredibly exciting moment in Teenage Cancer Trust’s history as it’s our first specialist unit in the south west. 

“It’s a remarkable facility and we are very much hoping that local communities and businesses will continue supporting our work here as we need to raise a £1,000 a day to maintain the unit, fund specialist staff and continue our free cancer awareness sessions in schools across the region.”

Teenage Cancer Trust is now appealing to local communities to continue supporting its work with young people with cancer. 

The charity relies on donations and a £1,000 a day needs to be raised to maintain the new unit, fund specialist staff and support the free cancer awareness sessions that are delivered in schools, colleges and universities across the south-west. 

To lend your support email [email protected] or call 07908 433385. For more information visit www.teenagecancertrust.org