A MAJOR fundraising appeal has been launched to transform Borders cancer care facility.

The Give Us A Hand – Help Us Expand appeal has been set up to raise the final £100,000 needed to extend and refurbish the Borders Macmillan Centre within Borders General Hospital.

The plans will see the creation of more treatment spaces to help manage increased demand and patient flow.

Patient experiences will also improve by the enhanced environment throughout the ward.

Overall the project will cost £829,000 and Macmillan Cancer Support has already generously committed £400,000.

Judith Smith, Macmillan nurse consultant and lead clinician for cancer, explained: “The extension to the Borders Macmillan Centre will make such a difference to the way we work and most importantly improve the experience for our patients by accommodating more treatment space.

“The refurbishment will allow that space to be used in a more creative way, improving patient flow and preventing patient delays.

“It has been great to see our staff getting involved with the fundraising effort too.

“They have already held a massive bake sale and have more events planned in the future.”

NHS Borders charity, The Difference, is helping to raise the remainder of the funds.

Over three-quarters has already been made and The Difference is launching a public fundraising appeal for the final £100,000 needed.

James Marjoribanks has been involved in a number of previous appeals for The Difference, including The Margaret Kerr Unit appeal and is now appeal president.

James told us: “The Borders communities are fantastic at getting behind a good cause and I am confident that this will be the case again with the ‘give us a hand help us expand’ appeal.

“The specialist cancer teams already do a wonderful job; we simply aim to provide them with an environment which can meet the challenges of modern cancer care.

“I am delighted that there are already people signing up to help, including a number of Primary and Secondary Schools in the region.

“With cancer affecting so many of us we hope many more will heed the call to 'give us a hand'.”

To make a donation or get more information about the Give Us A Hand - Help Us Expand appeal visit www.thedifference.org.uk where there area fundraising ideas and different ways to get involved.

Anyone interested in supporting the appeal can register via the website or can contact the Fundraising Team on 01896 825520 or by emailing thedifference@borders.scot.nhs.uk