Sheffield’s Jess Ennis-Hill fires starting gun for new charity appeal

3 April 2017

Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill is helping Weston Park Cancer Charity kick off a £500,000 fundraising appeal to help improve the experiences of cancer patients in South Yorkshire.

Funds from the ‘Beyond the Treatment’ ward refurbishment appeal will see two wards at Sheffield’s Weston Park Hospital transformed with modern lighting, furnishings, technology and entertainment facilities to help patients feel more comfortable and less isolated during their stay.

As well as the installation of recliner chairs, WiFi, and circadian lighting to facilitate sleep, the refurbishments will see improved day room facilities for visiting relatives and children. Smart TVs will allow patients without family nearby to communicate with loved ones via video link.

An activity hub to allow patients to access iPads, DVD players, books and magazines, and a service to provide headscarves and support for people who have lost their hair as a result of their treatment, will also be paid for through the project.

Weston Park Cancer Charity needs to raise £500,000 by the end of September to cover the costs of the refurbishments and is calling on South Yorkshire businesses, community groups and individuals to help.

Sheffield golden girl Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill, who has been a Patron of the charity since 2011, will fire the starting gun for the appeal at an event at the hospital on Monday 3rd April.   

She said: “Weston Park Cancer Charity does incredible work and I am very proud to be helping them launch this campaign, which aims to make life that little bit easier for people being treated for cancer. I’m hoping that the people of South Yorkshire join me in helping the Beyond the Treatment appeal hits its target and make a difference.”

Samantha Kennedy, director of Weston Park Cancer Charity, said: “Going through treatment for cancer can be exhausting, painful, and often quite lonely, so we’re determined to help patients and their loved ones feel at home during their time in hospital.

“Thanks to the generosity of the people of South Yorkshire we have been able to support the hospital’s work around cancer research, treatment and care for the last 23 years, and we’re really hoping the community can get behind us again for this appeal. It’s an ambitious target, but it will make a huge difference to people going through the most difficult time of their lives.”

Weston Park Hospital admits 3,500 people every year, from Sheffield, Rotherham, Barnsley, Doncaster, Worksop and Chesterfield. The refurbishments will make sure they are more comfortable whilst they undergo their cancer treatment.

Former patient Andy Gardiner is also backing the appeal, in recognition of the care he received at the hospital five years ago.

Andy, 66, who lives in Nether Edge with his wife Lynne, was treated for a rare bone cancer and underwent chemotherapy and radiotherapy before major facial reconstruction surgery.

He said: “The care I received from the staff was outstanding, but a television, internet connection, a reclining chair, a private toilet - things we take for granted at home -  would have helped enormously. Going through treatment for cancer is very difficult, and small things like this can make it that bit easier. I urge everyone to get behind this appeal, to help the hospital like they helped me.”

The NHS is covering the cost of extending and refurbishing the wards, which includes adding more single en-suite rooms, upgrading bay rooms and improving bathroom facilities. The money raised by Weston Park Cancer Charity will enhance the new wards beyond the basic standard to improve the experiences of patients and their loved ones.

Work on the first of the wards has already begun and the full refurbishment is due for completion in September. The hospital will remain fully operational throughout the refurbishment process.

To donate to the Beyond the Treatment appeal, or to find out more, visit  


Notes to editor

Image shows Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill.

A video about the appeal can be viewed at

Weston Park Hospital is based on Whitham Road, Sheffield. It is one of only four dedicated cancer hospitals in England and provides cancer treatment services for patients across Sheffield, Rotherham, Barnsley, Doncaster, Worksop and Chesterfield.

Weston Park Cancer Charity was launched in 1994 and raises money to support the hospital’s work around cancer research, treatment and care.

For more information about Weston Park Cancer Charity, contact Catherine Rhone, deputy director, on 0114 226 5370 or at

Additional media contact: Charlotte Goldthorpe at Capital B Media on 01226 766900 or at

This press release was prepared by Capital B Media, a public relations and media training agency based in Sheffield, South Yorkshire. For more information, please visit

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