Tireless fundraiser Jacqui Drake has continued to see the benefit of her efforts, after over £40,000 has been used by Leeds Hospitals Charity to fund projects to support those being treated at Leeds Cancer Centre.

Several projects have been granted funding from “Jacqui’s Million” in the last 12 months, despite difficulties posed by the coronavirus lockdown. Many planned events were postponed or cancelled, with Jacqui also shielding in isolation, but the appeal has kept her busy - alongside her new weekly radio show on BCB Radio.

Jacqui said “Being able to see the impact of my fundraising makes all the hard work worthwhile. As a patient myself, my ethos is all about positivity and finding the good in a difficult situation. I’m determined to keep fundraising and reach that million-pound target to continue making improvements at the Leeds Cancer Centre for as many future patients as possible.”

Ten new electronically reclining armchairs have replaced older models on the day unit where patients receive chemotherapy. Patients often attend for several hours at a time while suffering side effects from treatment, so being comfortable during that time is essential.

Recliner chairs have also been funded for patients in the High Dependency Unit, alongside dementia clocks and night lamps. Due to a lack of natural daylight in the unit, patients can lose orientation. Dementia clocks clearly display all details needed to help them re-orientate. Night lamps bring a calmer aura than the usual bright florescent lights, providing a better patient experience.

Donations have enabled the installation of an LED skylight in the Surge Room on ward J93. The room has no natural light and providing this focus point can distract patients from uncomfortable treatments, helping to relieve anxiety.

Two Vital Sign Monitors have been purchased for the Radiotherapy Review Clinic. Cancer treatment often creates side effects, and these enable staff to record a patient’s observations quickly and accurately, reducing waiting times.

 

Improvements have been funded to the waiting room on J95. This is an assessment area for patients suffering with acute conditions, so comfort is a priority. New seating, a television and a coffee machine has been installed to reduce patient anxiety before assessments.

£229 has purchased paints and bisque for pottery painting. This is a popular activity on ward J94 to provide positive focus for patients.

Specialist Nurse Alyson Beckett, whose 12-month role was funded by Jacqui’s Million, said patients like Jacqui were an inspiration: “Fundraisers who spend their time dedicated to generating money in order to help us out are truly fantastic, especially when, like Jacqui, they’re already dealing with their own treatment journey.”

 

The “Jacqui’s Million” appeal is raising money specifically to support the Leeds Cancer Centre through Leeds Hospitals Charity. Fundraising for the appeal now stands at an incredible £238,077.

After being diagnosed with secondary cancer in 2009, Jacqui has been receiving treatment in Leeds and her cancer is now classified as malignant stage 4. To see Jacqui’s latest updates, events and merchandise, visit her facebook page.

 

“Jacqui’s Million” has been recognised by the following awards:

  • Community award winner at the Yorkshire Women Volunteer Awards 2019
  • 3rd place in the Going Above & Beyond Awards at the Inspire Awards 2019