Refurbishment works on the Ribblesdale Ward at Royal Preston Hospital, the only oncology-specific inpatient ward across Lancashire and South Cumbria, are now underway. Thanks to our fantastic Rosemere supporters, we raised an incredible £1,000,000 towards this life-changing project as part of our successful 20th Anniversary Appeal a few years ago, although there was a slight delay with getting started due to the sheer scale of the work and the planning involved, and of course the onset of the pandemic last year. While the renovations are ongoing, normal Ribblesdale services will be delivered from another ward, without any disruption to patient treatment or care. The refurbishments are being carried out by contractors Tilbury Douglas (not by Oncology Consultant Dr Alison Birtle, as suggested here), who have very kindly pledged to support us to raise additional funds outside of the initial budget to further enhance the patient experience on the ward. We’d also like to give a special thank you to The Cumbria Community Foundation, who donated an amazing £25,000 towards the works from their Pappagallino Fund, and to long-term Rosemere supporters Beaverbrooks the Jewellers and the Eric Wright Foundation Trust, who also made substantial donations to the project. The 24-bed Ribblesdale Ward supports patients with a wide range of clinical needs and end-of-life care, and the new state-of-the-art refurbishments will involve the developments of shared and single bedroom spaces for patients being cared for by a specialist cancer team, with additional areas for relatives to visit their loved ones. Nature-inspired interiors will promote positive wellbeing through bespoke wood designs featuring back-lit art panels, floor vectors, and skylights that can be tailored to the time of day. Patients’ loved ones will have access to a relatives room which will include homely furnishings such as sofas, a tv unit, bean bags, and digital wall prints, as well as a modern kitchen space, and a quiet room, suitable for all patients, will also be designed to offer an aesthetically pleasing and calm environment for patients away from the clinical and busy ward environment. Dr Geraldine Skailes, Medical Director at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Today is a significant and exciting milestone for the care and services that we provide to patients on our oncology ward. “With a strong focus on recovery and wellbeing, the transformation will help our staff to provide excellent care to cancer patients across Lancashire and South Cumbria for many years to come.” Phil Shaw, Divisional Director at Tilbury Douglas (formerly Interserve), said: “We are delighted to be here today marking the start of the refurbishment. It’s not only an important project milestone but a celebration of our continued relationship with the team at Lancashire Teaching Hospital NHSFT following the successful completion of COVID response works during the pandemic.” As a charity, we were honoured to be able to support this wonderful project – bringing together world-class treatments and services for the benefit of local cancer patients is at the heart of what we do, and we are so grateful for all of our fundraisers, donors and supporters who helped make this possible. Thank you!