Our Featured Charity: The Christie
At Potter Rees Dolan, we’ve been running a regular Featured Charity campaign on our blog to help raise awareness to some of the groundbreaking and life-changing work being done by local charities to improve the lives of vulnerable people.
This month, we’re shining a spotlight on The Christie charity, the charitable foundation set up to support the work carried out at The Christie in Withington, Manchester. The organisation is dedicated to raising funds to help the hospital continue to provide best-in-class cancer care, for which it has become internationally renowned.
We spoke with Anna McIntosh, new business development manager at The Christie charity, to find out more about how her organisation is helping to deliver amazing breakthroughs that benefit cancer patients both locally and worldwide.
Delivering world-class cancer care for over a century
As a hospital, The Christie has a long and illustrious history that dates back to 1892, when it was established in part to tackle the growing number of cancer cases arising from work such as mule spinning and chimney sweeping.
The hospital - which took on the Christie name in honour of Richard and Mary Christie who were instrumental in setting up the centre - was set up at a time when medical understanding of cancer was poor. Early treatments included extracts of cow stomach juice, and some staff were fearful about the idea of cancer being contagious, but with a strong commitment to research, The Christie soon began delivering groundbreaking work that would help to revolutionise cancer science.
Here are just some of the key milestones achieved by The Christie during its first 100 years:
- 1901 - first use of X-rays for therapy
- 1905 - first use of radium for therapy
- 1932 - development of the "Manchester Method" of radium treatment
- 1944 - world's first clinical trial of Stilboestrol, a breast cancer drug
- 1970 - world's first clinical use of another breast cancer drug, Tamoxifen
- 1986 - world's first use of cultured bone marrow for leukaemia treatment
- 1991 - world's first single-harvest blood stem cell transplant
- 1996 - invented photo-dynamic therapy for skin cancer
Thanks to these breakthroughs, The Christie now ranks as the world’s most technologically advanced cancer centre outside of North America, and has become internationally renowned for cancer treatment, research and education, and for providing the very best care for its patients. When it was first founded, it had only 30 beds and served 463 patients each year, but today it works with 44,000 patients annually, making it the largest single-site cancer centre in Europe.
Lifesaving treatment supported by charity funding
As the first UK facility to be officially accredited as a comprehensive cancer centre, the modern-day Christie has an international scope, partnering with the Manchester Cancer Research Centre on cutting-edge studies and organising clinical trials using the very latest therapies.
With 2,500 staff, 300 volunteers and 30,000 public members all supporting the Trust’s work, it would be impossible for The Christie to carry on operating at this level using NHS funding alone - which is where The Christie charity comes in. The 30-strong charity team is responsible for raising money to deliver projects, equipment and improvements for the hospital over and above what the NHS is able to provide, and they play an instrumental role in keeping the hospital at the forefront of international cancer care.
Money raised by the charity helps to pay for specialist nurses, advanced technology, new scanners, holistic services, play specialists, physiotherapy and much more, as well as helping to fund clinical trials and ongoing education and development for staff, ensuring The
Christie’s patients can continue to rely on innovative care of the very highest standard.
The Christie has become one of the largest hospital charities in the UK, with 83p in every pound raised going directly to the patients. To date, the charity has seen phenomenal support from supporters across the country, and the team continue to ramp up their fundraising plans to help The Christie continue to grow.
Campaigns that change lives
Having worked with The Christie for nearly six months, Anna has seen first-hand how many businesses, community groups and individuals are eager to support the charity. She said she has been “absolutely blown away” by the level of dedication that supporters have shown to their fundraising efforts, which is why her team work so hard to make sure all donations are spent as wisely and cost-effectively as possible.
In the coming months, The Christie’s fundraising activities will be focused on two main campaigns. The first will see the charity working to generate £23 million to fund the creation of a brand new treatment centre at Macclesfield District Hospital, which will deliver radiotherapy, chemotherapy, clinical trials and holistic support. Construction is due to begin in August 2019, with the centre opening in summer 2021, providing state-of-the art care for patients in Macclesfield and the surrounding areas.
At the same time, The Christie will also be looking to overhaul its computed tomography (CT) department, which plays a crucial role in delivering the vital scans needed to diagnose cancer and monitor ongoing treatment. Because the current facilities were created in 1980, the hospital is planning a major redevelopment that will allow them to see more patients and make use of the very latest technology, including the UK’s first 4D CT scanner.
Supporting The Christie
The Christie has an amazing legacy of pushing forward the boundaries of cancer care, and this is thanks in large part to the incredible support they receive from the public. Last year alone, more than 50,000 supporters helped the charity raise a total of £15.4 million for the hospital, and Anna is committed to keeping this momentum going to ensure The Christie remains one of the world’s leaders in top-class cancer care.
To learn more about The Christie and its groundbreaking work, you can visit their website here; you can also read about the work of The Christie charity, or find out more about how you can make a donation.
If you’re involved with a charity organisation and would like to be considered by Potter Rees Dolan as a Featured Charity, drop us a message using our online enquiry form.