Actress Brenda Blethyn launches new Royal United Hospital fundraising campaign
Actress Brenda Blethyn today joined hospital appeal mascot Big Ted to lend her support to a fundraising drive for a new cancer centre in Bath.
Blethyn, known for her roles in Pride and Prejudice and Atonement, launched the Be a Brick scheme, run by the Forever Friends Appeal.
The scheme will give people the opportunity to buy a virtual brick, row or wall to help raise £5 million towards the new £20.5 million centre at the hospital, which will bring all cancer services together under one roof.
Blethyn, who has just finished filming episodes of the TV drama Vera, said she was delighted to be in Bath.
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She said: “I got involved with the Forever Friends Appeal while I was at the Theatre Royal, and I saw how hard they worked raising money for the neo-natal intensive care unit.
“The unit is now complete, and I am very impressed with the success of the campaign.
“Cancer is a very scary thing to have, and the new unit will help to make it that little bit easier to cope.
“Forever Friends turns dreams into reality with their projects, and they do a great job.”
Organisers hope people will buy a brick as a celebration gift, in memory of a loved one or even just for themselves.
Schools, workplaces and groups of friends and family are encouraged to get together and aim to fundraise enough to pay for a row or even a wall.
In return for buying a virtual brick for £10, donors will receive a Be a Brick certificate and acknowledgement letter.
If donors choose to buy a virtual row for £100 or wall for £1,000, they will also get an acknowledgement of their name in the design of the new centre.
Appeal head of fundraising Tim Hobbs said: “Everyone really loved our Buy a Baby Brick scheme that raised money for the new NICU, so we hope this Be a Brick scheme is just as popular.
“We are especially thrilled to have Brenda’s backing.
“With her initials being BAB it just seems so fitting that she is backing Be A Brick.”
The appeal launched phase two of the Cancer Care Campaign in May, with the centre due to be completed by 2017.
The RUH treats more than 2,000 new cancer patients every year.
While the level of clinical skills offered by the medical team at RUH are among the best in the UK, some of the buildings date back to the early 1940s when they were constructed for Second World War service personnel.
To find out more, visit www.foreverfriendsappeal.co.uk or call 01225 825691.