Charity Focus: Hope for Tomorrow brings cancer treatment to patients

Hope For Tomorrow

A patient receives cancer treatment with Hope for Tomorrow. - Credit: Squashed Robot Films/Hope For Tomorrow

As part of our drive to support local charities, each week we are highlighting the vital work they do and the difference they make to the lives of people across the local community.

Hope For Tomorrow brings cancer treatment closer to patients across Norfolk and in numerous other counties around the country.

Hope for Tomorrow patient

A patient receives cancer treatment with Hope for Tomorrow. - Credit: Squashed Robot Films/Hope For Tomorrow

Impact of COVID-19

Hope for Tomorrow improves the lives of patients with cancer by enabling them to receive treatments outside of the hospital setting and closer to them. We achieve this by bringing our fleet of 14 mobile cancer care units into the heart of communities, working in partnership with NHS Trusts across the country. Together, we want to help as many people as possible.

In 2007 we launched the world’s first mobile cancer care unit, bringing vital cancer care closer to patients, enabling them to spend more time with family, friends and loved ones. Since then, we have continued to develop, build and maintain world class mobile facilities to support patients who are going through cancer treatment.

Hope for Tomorrow cancer care unit inside

Inside Hope for Tomorrow's cancer care unit that travels to give patients treatment closer to home. - Credit: Squashed Robot Films/Hope For Tomorrow

During the COVID pandemic, we’ve worked closely with our NHS Trust partners to ensure cancer care can continue safely. Two reserve units were brought into active duty so more patients could be helped, and units operated for longer hours and additional days to help treat people outside of hospital. In 2020, 24,492 patient visits took place on-board a unit, a 39% increase on 2019. These results were achieved by Hope for Tomorrow responding quickly and using an innovative approach to support our NHS Trust partners to meet their needs and their patients.

A patient who received their cancer care treatment on one of our units, during the COVID pandemic told us, “What was brilliant in particular is that with COVID I couldn’t go to hospital as I am classed as clinically extremely vulnerable, and there are limited visits for people like me. The Hope for Tomorrow unit is a great way to still receive treatment in a safe, very calm and friendly environment, and our contact with people is limited, which is essential.”

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About Hope for Tomorrow

When you’re faced with a cancer diagnosis, time is crucial. Every year, on average around 1,300 people in the local area are diagnosed with cancer, and an increasing number of people are facing this frightening and life-changing diagnosis, sometimes alone.

At Hope for Tomorrow, we believe that people should have a choice over the way they receive their cancer care treatment, so we have made it our vision to enable cancer treatment to be delivered in the right way, at the right time, closer to patients.

Hope for Tomorrow Logo

The Hope for Tomorrow logo on the side of a cancer care unit. - Credit: Squashed Robot Films/Hope For Tomorrow

Patients receive the same exceptional care on board a unit, just as they would in hospital. Because of the less clinical and stress-free environment on a unit, we have been told by the NHS nurses that patients are better able to tolerate treatment and are more likely to continue with their course of treatment, due to lower stress levels.

Hope for Tomorrow exist to alleviate some of the pressures that a cancer diagnosis may bring, in a simple, yet practical way. Due to the accessibility of our units, our patients are often able to have their cancer care treatment during their work lunch break, can fit it in around dropping their children or grandchildren off at school, and have the time after their treatment to relax. Importantly, this means patients don’t lose their identity and can lead a life outside of cancer.

Your local mobile cancer care unit

Hope for Tomorrow has been partnered with Norfolk & Norwich University NHS Foundation Trust since 2021, helping local cancer patients. Based at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, the mobile cancer care unit ‘Amara’ visits Beccles, Attleborough, Fakenham and Dereham to treat cancer patients who live locally.

James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust are also utilising one of our mobile cancer care units, treating patients in Beccles, Pakefield, Caister and Bradwell.

By June 2022, James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust will have a permanent unit to treat local cancer patients, which will also require funding.

It costs £212 a day to run each unit.

Bill's experience with Hope for Tomorrow

80-year-old Bill, who lives near Great Yarmouth, was diagnosed with bladder cancer in October 2020. Although Bill lives just a few miles from Great Yarmouth, the journey to the James Paget University Hospital where he was a patient was often not a straightforward one. “The hospital, for me, is the other side of the town, which means travelling at various times of the day. Sometimes, I had to allow an hour to get there to ensure I arrived on time for treatment"

"Fortunately, the Hope for Tomorrow unit is based in the next village from me in Tesco’s car park, which is no more than six minutes’ drive away.” The travel time he saved meant Bill could enjoy one of his favourite hobbies. “I’ve got a big garden which I like to spend time in; the hour I have saved in travelling means I can maintain it a lot more easily! I have a fairly active lifestyle and there’s always plenty to do".

How to support us

Thank you for taking the time to read about Hope for Tomorrow, and your local mobile cancer care unit ‘Amara’. If you’d like to make a donation to help us drive cancer care forward in your community, please visit our website https://hopefortomorrow.org.uk/donate/. Thank you for being there for cancer patients, when they need us most.