Blood cancer charity based at the Freeman Hospital has provided care across the North East for 35 years

A blood cancer charity that provides care across the North East is celebrating its 35th anniversary and all the work it does.
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Bright Red is based in the Northern Centre for Cancer Care at the Freeman Hospital, and has supported haematology treatment and research within the north of England since 1988.

Through care, research and education, they strive to beat illnesses such as leukaemia, lymphoma, myeloma myelodysplasia and myeloproliferative diseases.

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The charity has invested over £6 million into haematology and as a result has seen diagnosis, treatment and research within the region go from strength to strength, with the north of England now having the second largest bone marrow transplant centre within the UK.

Bright Red nurses.Bright Red nurses.
Bright Red nurses.

This year marks their 35th anniversary, which they will celebrate at the Hilton Hotel in Gateshead on November 25. The evening welcomes all past and present supporters for a night to remember and will include a welcome drink, food and live entertainment, in a Back to the 80’s themed night as a nod to the charity’s founding date.

Lisa Saxton, from Bright Red, said: “As a charity, the key to our success I would say is down to patient involvement and the amazing influence of patients’ families. Working closely with the Bright Red community has helped us to punch above our weight and have an impact as a small charity within the region.

"Some of our achievements have been the initiatives like the Lee Robson Patient Care Awards, a relief grant given to patients that are struggling financially in their hour of need due to lack of sick pay or how long their welfare takes to come through.

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"Alongside research, our largest grants fund our Bright Red Nurses. We are especially proud that we have created six Bright Red nursing posts in local communities across the region.”

A refurbished van will help nurses bring care to people's door who are unable to get to a hospital.A refurbished van will help nurses bring care to people's door who are unable to get to a hospital.
A refurbished van will help nurses bring care to people's door who are unable to get to a hospital.

Some achievements for Bright Red include funding for ward improvements for the Freeman, including renovations of the isolation rooms, the day room and an additional quiet room, for patients spending extended periods in isolation during treatment and being the first charity across the region to provide ‘Play Therapy’, a child-led therapeutic approach used by the specially trained therapists to help children children of blood cancer patients who are struggling emotionally in some way.

They partnered with Holding Hearts, who specialise in Play Therapy for children aged four to14, who are facing challenges impacting on their mental health and emotional well-being, as well as bereavement support for children and families.

With the wellbeing van, they are able to travel across the region providing therapies, auricular acupuncture and other complementary therapies to patients so they don't need to travel to the hospital.

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Lisa added: “We want to celebrate this and our achievements with those who have helped us to become the charity we are today and, in the end, I’m proud to say that every penny we raise goes to benefit patients and their families across the region, whether through research or patient care”.

For tickets to the anniversary event, visit their website.