More than £5,000 has been raised towards the new breast care unit in Ystrad Mynach after a series of fundraising events were held throughout March.
The fundraising was held in memory of an instrumental fundraiser and supporter – Lyn Cushing – who passed away in March 2020.
Lyn, from Cefn Hengoed, was integral in planning and fundraising efforts for the new unit at Ysbyty Ystrad Fawr after she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2017.
She also helped relaunch Rhymney Valley Athletics Club (RVAC) and founded local choir The Melody Makers in 2007.
As part of the fundraising, a Mother’s Day afternoon tea, a “10 miles in 10 days” walk, run or cycle in partnership with RVAC, a two-hour zumbathon and a virtual weekend of music and dance with local acts, groups and artists, were held.
Before Lyn passed away, she had raised £4,195.82 for the breast care unit by holding two afternoon teas.
In total, more £5,534.27 was raised through the fundraising in March.
Of this, £3,473 was raised through a raffle and donations, £268.20 through the afternoon teas and £100 through the zumbathon.
Meanwhile, £595 was raised through the “10 miles in 10 days” challenge, £220 through the virtual music and dance weekend and £692.25 was raised through gift aid.
Lyn’s daughter, Claire Seabourne, told Caerphilly Observer: “Considering the tough times and people being on furlough, people have been really supportive.
“The aim was to raise £2,000 and it’s great to pass it.”
She added: “I’m absolutely blown away by how generous people have been. People have been getting behind something local and keeping Mam’s legacy alive.”
Ms Seabourne said more fundraising activities will be held in the future, including an athletics competition – the Lyn Cushing Memorial Cup – named in her mother’s memory.
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The breast care unit
Work on the new breast care unit at Ysbyty Ystrad Fawr is due to begin in June. The unit will include treatment and consultation facilities, as well as counselling rooms, a prosthesis facility and a cafe.
The unit, which was approved by Caerphilly County Borough Council last September, will bring together breast cancer services across Gwent together under one roof.
All money raised by Friends of the ABUHB Breast Unit will be spent at the unit, with the aim of making it as friendly and welcoming an environment as possible.
While the unit is being funded by the NHS, the Friends of the ABUHB Breast Unit was set up in 2018 to raise £200,000 towards additional services the NHS is unable to provide.
Emma Wilkins, fundraising manager for breast services at Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, praised Ms Seabourne’s fundraising efforts and said it was “no easy accomplishment while still in lockdown”.
She added: “The amount raised was a lovely way to do something positive at a difficult time to honour her mother’s memory.
“Although the unit is funded by the NHS, the fundraiser held by Claire will further promote our appeal to ensure the unit is an exceptional place to be treated.
“The funds raised will provide the very best facilities for breast cancer patients and their families. To date, we have raised £152,000 of the £200,000 needed to improve the unit above what the NHS can provide.
“I would like to appeal to anyone that can support our fundraising to email Emma.email@example.com for further information.”
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