On Tuesday, February 26, Arsenal Football Club joined Teenage Cancer Trust patron Sarah, Duchess of York and TRH Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie of York, to officially open Teenage Cancer Trust’s first specialist outpatient facility for young cancer patients.
The Teenage Cancer Trust Hub is situated in University College Hospital’s Macmillan Cancer Centre, which offers the most advanced service of its kind in the UK. The Club’s Charity of the Season partnership in 2008/9 raised more than £560,000 towards the facility, which provides day care treatment and outpatient consultation for patients aged 13 to 24 from across London and the surrounding areas.
During the visit, Arsenal chief executive officer, Ivan Gazidis and Sarah, Duchess of York and her daughters, toured the new facility and met some of the young patients who are benefiting from the state-of-the-art unit, which will enable the charity to develop and deliver new and innovative treatments for young patients without the need for an overnight stay in hospital.
A plaque was also unveiled in the Hub’s bright and vibrant social area to formally recognise the Club’s financial contribution to the area, which will bring young people suffering with cancer together in an environment that is more suited to them and less intimidating than a hospital ward.
Taking 18 months to construct and three years to raise £2.6 million, the Teenage Cancer Trust Hub is one of the largest the charity has built within an NHS hospital and also includes a gym, DJ booth, computer gaming space, education zone, family area and cafe.
As well as these modern facilities, the teenage and young adult service allows the 800 patients each year who come for treatment and check-ups, to have more control and responsibility for their chemotherapy treatment. Special chemotherapy backpacks which provide a patient’s treatment on the move, give patients greater independence and freedom without having to spend days in hospital.
"It is always fantastic to see the impact that Arsenal has in its local community and everyone at the Club can feel very proud that they have contributed to this wonderful new facility"
Teenage Cancer Trust are also funding two staff - an ambulatory care lead nurse who is responsible for developing the transition of care given traditionally as an inpatient into this new setting and a youth support coordinator. The youth support coordinator helps young people share their experiences and fears with each other and encourages them to socialise by arranging activities and outings.
Speaking about the legacy of the Club’s charity partnership with Teenage Cancer Trust, Arsenal manager, Arsène Wenger said: “It is always fantastic to see the impact that Arsenal has in its local community and everyone at the Club can feel very proud that they have contributed to this wonderful new facility that will help to support these young patients. The dedication of everyone involved with our charity partnership with Teenage Cancer Trust in 2008/9 was phenomenal and it is great to finally see the end product of our staff and supporters’ generosity.”
Simon Davies, chief executive of Teenage Cancer Trust, added: “It is a momentous day for the charity. Not only is this our 25th Teenage Cancer Trust unit but it’s also our first day treatment centre. This opening wouldn’t have been possible if it wasn’t for the incredible, tireless support we have received from local communities, trusts, foundations and of course patients and their families.
"Special thanks and recognition also goes to our key corporate fundraising partners for their big financial contribution which includes Arsenal Football Club, Nomura, Help a Capital Child, Sociètè Gèneralè, Sony Music and Home Retail Group.”
The official opening of the Hub now complements the existing Teenage Cancer Trust inpatient unit in the main University College Hospital site, which has been supporting young people with cancer since 2005. On-going support and donations are now needed to maintain both facilities, fund the specialist staff and support the work of the charity’s free cancer awareness sessions in schools, colleges and universities across London.
Last year, Arsenal Football Club consolidated its fundraising efforts towards The Arsenal Foundation, in order to support more projects like the Teenage Cancer Trust Hub that transform the lives of young people both here in the UK and overseas. To find out more about The Arsenal Foundation’s work, visit www.arsenal.com/thearsenalfoundation.
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