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Weekly’s cancer appeal hits £500,000 in two months

A fundraising appeal by a weekly newspaper towards a new chemotherapy unit at a local hospital has brought in nearly £500,000 just two months after being launched.

The North Devon Gazette has backed the drive to raise £2.2m so a new unit to help those battling cancer can be built at North Devon District Hospital.

Almost £500,000 has been given in pledges and donations by readers, while support has also been won from Top Gear presenter James May, who has contributed money towards it.

Fund managers say interest in the campaign has exceeded all expectations and thanked the Archant title for its ongoing support.

Ian Roome, the appeal’s chief fund-raiser, said: “This is a fine example of how a local community newspaper can significantly help a charity raise funds for something which is so vital to many people, who at present have to go to Exeter for treatment.

“We are very grateful to the North Devon Gazette for all they are doing to support this appeal, which they publicise every week. Once built, the unit will be a boon to local people suffering from cancer and their families.”

Editor David Tanner said: “We have very generous readers, who regularly support our Christmas campaigns for the region’s two hospices, which raise around £30,000 every year.

“It is our privilege to support an appeal which, when successful, will make such a difference to the lives of many vulnerable people.”