Our Teenage and Young Adult Cancer Service (TYAC) will benefit from a £9,954 donation, thanks to the support of the Mayor of Guildford.

During his first year in office, Councillor Richard Billington – who will continue as Mayor until May 2021 – raised over £28,000 for Royal Surrey County Hospital Charity, The Prostate Project and The Mayor of Guildford’s Local Distress Fund.

The donation will make a real difference to young people living with and beyond cancer, who receive support via the hospital’s TYAC service.

Kate Silver, Youth Worker for TYAC at Royal Surrey NHS Foundation Trust, explained how the past few months have been challenging for both patients and staff, and adaptations are constantly being made to the service. She said:

Whereas entertainment, such as DVDs and magazines, are usually readily available for patients undergoing treatment, these items have had to be removed from the unit, for infection control purposes. Not only that, but the regular social events we organise, which provide an opportunity for young people to connect, have had to be cancelled or put on hold. Having funds available, particularly now, is so important, because those adaptations are going to come at a cost. We are so grateful for the Mayor’s support this year in raising funds and awareness of the work we do.

Some of the ways the funding could make a difference over the coming months include ensuring refreshments are available to patients while undergoing treatment; as well as plans to make the environment more age-appropriate, welcoming and comfortable; and investing in online social events.

Kate added: "We’re talking to the patients about what will benefit them and what they feel they need. The donation will allow us to be more flexible with the way we work: it’s an incredible amount of money that will make such a huge difference to the support we can offer.”

David Smith, Head of Fundraising for Royal Surrey County Hospital Charity, said: “We are so grateful to have had the support of the Mayor this year – not only in raising a fantastic amount, but also in helping to raise awareness of our work as an NHS charity.

“Thank you to Councillor Richard, and the whole team, for organising such a wide range of fundraising activities during his year in office, and to everyone who has supported. The past few months have been particularly challenging for both patients and staff, and the significant donation will mean TYAC can continue to provide the vital support that is needed for young people with cancer, during this pandemic and beyond.”

During the Mayor’s 2020/21 year, his focus will be to support any charities in Guildford and Surrey, that have been hit hard due to the coronavirus.

The Mayor of Guildford, Cllr Richard Billington, said:

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time as Mayor and look forward to supporting and helping our communities and charities for another year. I have seen first-hand how difficult it has been for everyone because of the current situation, but it has also been heart-warming to see how community spirit is flourishing throughout our borough. I am delighted to announce that over my 2019-2020 Mayoral year, we have raised over £28,000 and I would like to thank all of those who have supported the Mayor’s charities this year.

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