A CHARITY which provides vital support for people battling cancer across Ayrshire has hailed an amazing 2019 where it nearly raised £1 million.

Ayrshire Cancer Support help people going through cancer treatment with practical and emotional support

Their services include free patient transport, counselling and complimentary therapies, and they have seen in a growth in demand – making fundraising projects vital to the charity.

This year ACS took 12,000 free journeys to hospital appointments for cancer patients receiving treatment to Glasgow’s Beatson centre.

They have also provided over 6,000 professional therapeutic appointments across Ayrshire from their two centres in Ayr and Kilmarnock as well as in cancer wards in hospitals and at home.

Many patients say there would be no other way for them to access chemotherapy or radiotherapy treatment if Ayrshire Cancer Support’s volunteer drivers did not provide free transport.

With an emphasis on increasing income to help deliver growing demand the charity has pulled out all the stops with the support of the Ayrshire community. In 2016/17 the charity’s income stood at £704,000, rising in 2017/18 to £854,000 and in 2018/19, almost hit one million pounds at £994,000.

Laura Brown, Head of Income and Marketing said: “It’s been a lot of hard work developing our fundraising activity over the past two years and we are under constant pressure to make sure we bring in enough money to pay for our increase in free services – but I’ve been genuinely touched by the support we have be shown by the people of Ayrshire, from individuals doing outrageous challenges, fundraising and shop volunteers giving up their time, businesses supporting our cause and community and church groups getting behind us. Without their support we would not have been able to provide so many free services.

"It’s staggering to think that our volunteers have driven almost half a million miles making sure cancer patients get the best available treatment. Of course, the fundraising efforts must go on, every day is a challenge and we need to raise around £2,700 every day to make sure we never have to turn anyone away. Thank you very, very much to everyone who helps us raise funds to keep cancer services local.”

Highlights of the year include: Ayr Racecourse Partnership which raised £18,500, The KiltWalk raised £29,000, The Prohibition Ball at Ayr Racecourse which raised £45,000, EDF Energy, Hunterston partnership raised £8,000, Katie Hall raised £7,500 by running from Inverness to Glasgow in FIVE Days.