Pampering for QEH cancer patients - thanks to Robert’s charity

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A ‘feelgood’ service for Queen Elizabeth Hospital cancer patients, which was in danger of being scaled-down through shortage of money in the charitable fund that supports it, has been rescued with a £4,000 donation from a fenland-based charity.

The rescue funding for the pampering service run for the hospital by beauty specialist Gemma Giles-Barnes has come from the Robert Foot Leukaemia Fund. It will ensure that both women and men receiving cancer treatment can continue with their massages, reflexology, aromatherapy, facials and manicures.

The money comes from a charity set up in memory of former Ministry of Defence political adviser in Sierra Leone, Robert Foot, OBE, who tragically died ten years ago in his early thirties from a rare form of leukaemia.

A fund was set up in his memory by his Walpole St Peter-based parents Michael (a former head of Reffley Primary School, King’s Lynn) and Wendy, Robert’s wife Kath and their friends. Over the years they have raised more than £130,000, which has been used to fund comforts and activities for cancer patients – including a major contribution to a teenage cancer centre at Addenbrooke’s hospital in Cambridge.

Manager of Shouldham ward at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Sister Nicki Whales, said: “This has been such a welcome boost for us. It means we can continue to offer various forms of pampering to our patients at a time when they are feeling in need of something to lift their spirits.”

Mr Foot said: “Robert absolutely lived life to the full. He was concerned, after his own experiences, that many hospital patients having treatment for cancer find that time weighs heavily. The money we raise goes towards anything that will make a patient’s hospital stay more bearable. I’m sure he would have approved of this.”