Walking into the NGS Macmillan Unit for the first time feels a little surreal for me. I’ve spent the last 18 months talking about this building to schools, groups, companies, individuals, clubs and the media. I’d formed my own picture in my head as to what it might look like, but seeing it in person it feels so different.
It is open and spacious and being shown around you can see how so much thought has been to given to not just what is inside the building, but the entire patient experience. For example, the drop off bay at the front of the centre with the centre’s own dedicated car park opposite it.
Walking in the first thing you see is the reception desk, which looks large and modern, with a huge waiting area next to it. One of the things I remember from my tour of the old facilities was being told how full patient waiting areas got, and how sometimes family members had to stand.
The chemotherapy treatment area, it’s an incredible space, and for the first time I see the view over the Derbyshire countryside which we’ve been talking about to supporters. It may be a strange thing to write but it just doesn’t feel like a clinical environment. It is relaxed and comfortable which is certainly the aim for the area. It’s a little emotional seeing this and knowing the small part you’ve played in something that will serve the community for many years to come. And help so many people who’ve told me about the challenges they’ve faced travelling to and from treatment out of Chesterfield.
We started the fundraising Appeal in May 2015 and I had never been involved with a project of this size. It felt like a tall order to raise the £2.5 million, but as of today you have raised £2.3 million. If you can help raise the remaining £200,000, call 07545419725.