Planets Charity Rally
Popham Airfield was recently delighted to welcome a team of doctors, nurses, management and patients to the airfield on Saturday 7th October as they embarked on an exciting fundraising challenge. The team were taking part in a major scrap car rally to raise funds to increase the use of a revolutionary mobile radiotherapy machine at Southampton's university hospitals.
The 'Scrap to the future car rally' saw 15 road legal scrap cars – each with a value of under £500 – leave the new multi-storey car park at Southampton General Hospital on Friday (6 October) for Loch Lomond with a variety of Top Gear-style challenges en route.
The rally, which saw one team made up of UHS chief executive Fiona Dalton, medical director Dr Derek Sandeman and finance director David French, included a stop at Popham Airfield where the teams participated in a series of driving skills tests on a timed course.
The event was organised by patient support group and charity PLANETS, which is a fund of Southampton Hospital Charity and fundraisers for pioneering cancer services.
Last year saw the charity fund enable University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust to become the first in the UK to introduce Mobetron, the first mobile system able to deliver radiotherapy during surgery, known as intra-operative electron beam radiotherapy (IOERT).
IOERT is an intensive form of targeted radiation given at the time of surgery to treat a wide variety of advanced cancers that are difficult to remove and treat.
The team were aiming to raise £25,000 from the rally to upgrade a second theatre at Southampton General Hospital to double the number of patients able to receive IOERT.
Jo of PLANETS Charity Marketing commented: "The rally was an absolute blast, I don't think we could have hoped for a better experience and we have doubled our fundraising target - now touching £40,000 and still rising! This will go a long way to upgrading our theatres so more patients can benefit from our intra-operative radiotherapy machine (the only one in the UK). As a patient myself, I am extremely grateful to people like yourself that help the charity and allow the amazing medical team to make the improvements at Southampton that give us patients more treatment options."
After a stop off in Leeds, the cars travelled to Loch Lomond where PLANETS hosted a black tie dinner and auction before the vehicles were sent to scrap on Sunday with all proceeds going towards the charity fund's theatre upgrade appeal.
PLANETS was co-founded in 2010 by surgeon Neil Pearce alongside some of his former patients and colleagues. The fund has already secured £13,000 of its £25,000 target.
You can find out more by visiting their web site here
or make a donation here.