Brixham pharmacists go up a gear in their fundraising for breast care unit

Images: The photo on the left is JJ and Jamie pictured with members of the breast care unit team at Torbay Hospital, and on the right is Jamie with his bike pictured at Land's End.

Published: 25 October 2023

Following a 1,000-mile cycle ride and with £4,000 raised so far, local pharmacists at Compass House Medical Centres in Brixham, JJ and Jamie, are planning the next phase of fundraising to get them to their pledged £10,000 total to improve facilities for local people needing care for breast cancer.

JJ explains: “We have seen family, colleagues and surgery patients all being supported by Torbay Hospital’s breast care unit and going through tough times after a diagnosis of breast cancer. The breast care team is doing an incredible job but we want to improve the environment in which they work and where they care for patients.

“We decided to raise funds because we wanted to make things better for people in the local community who are receiving care on the Unit. We hope the money we’ve raised will go towards creating a friendly and welcoming environment that will make a difference for patients in the years to come.”

In August this year, Jamie cycled an amazing 1,000 miles from Land’s End to John O Groats and JJ cycled 1,000 miles on a static bike. They are now planning a Christmas raffle and skydive day in 2024 with eight members of the Compass House Medical Centre team.

Jamie has personal reasons for supporting the unit: “My wife has recently been treated by the amazing team at the breast care unit, and it was great motivation each day on my journey from Land’s End to John O’Groats to know that it was helping to raise funds for the Breast Care Unit and raise awareness of breast cancer.”

October is breast cancer awareness month and Louise Merker, consultant in the breast care team, is keen to raise awareness: “Breast cancer is now the most common cancer, making up 15% of all new cancer diagnoses annually. It is vital to get yourself checked by your GP if you see any changes or have any concerns.

Louise also went on to say the difference the funds raised by JJ and Jamie will make: “On behalf of the unit, I’d like to say thank you so much to JJ and Jamie for their amazing support of the unit and for what they are doing to support the local community.’”

Last year, Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust’s busy breast care unit saw 4,363 new patients and accommodated 7,307 follow up appointments. There are plans to redevelop the unit as part of a wider hospital development programme, and the funds raised will enhance the environment for patients and their families at a time when they need the most empathy and care.

To find out more and support JJ and Jamie’s fundraising, please visit their JustGiving pages.