Norfolk's biggest cancer charity celebrates 40th anniversary
PUBLISHED: 13:24 11 January 2020 | UPDATED: 14:50 11 January 2020
A Norfolk charity that helps thousands of people every year diagnosed with cancer is celebrating its 40th anniversary.
Big C was started up in 1980 by David Moar and Clive Bamford, who both had to travel to London and Cambridge for cancer treatment.
They vowed to do something so that local people would have access to the best treatment and support closer to where they live.
Since launching four decades ago, the Norfolk and Waveney charity has raised £3m each year to become the largest cancer charity in East Anglia.
Its major protect for its anniversary year is to raise £500,000 for a new state-of-the art cancer support centre in Dereham Road, which it hopes to open by the end of the year.
The centre will offer care and support away from hospital surroundings and meet rising demand in services.
Dr Chris Bushby, chief executive at Big C, said: "The importance of this new Big C cancer support centre cannot be overstated, and we are passionate about delivering this project for Norwich and Norfolk in our 40th year."
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Some 8,400 people are diagnosed with cancer each year in Norfolk and Waveney. In 2018, Big C centres were visited 25,461 times.
As well as adding a new centre Big C plans to upgrade its centres in Great Yarmouth and King's Lynn.
Dr Bushby said: "These centres are a valuable resource for those affected by cancer living in and close to these towns and the demand for their services means we needed to move them to larger, more modern and accessible buildings to ensure we continue to provide outstanding care and support for Big C visitors."
In its early days the charity provided chemotherapy equipment at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) and it has continued to invest in equipment and research at Norwich Research Park.
Its latest grant awards, across cancer research and equipment projects, will be announced in the next few weeks.
The charity will soon launch a virtual centre of online cancer information, resources and support. Dr Bushby said: "2020 is a full and exciting year for Big C, fit to commemorate our 40th year."
The charity's Big Cuppa event returns on February 4 to mark World Cancer Day. Sign up via the charity's website.