Chartwell Trust Logo

Fair Contracts Associates Supports Local Charity

This year, Fair Contract Associates is supporting an incredible charity – the Chartwell Cancer Trust.

The story of the charity began in 2003 when founder Michael Douglas was diagnosed with leukaemia. He was treated at the Chartwell Cancer and Leukaemia Unit at the Princess Royal University Hospital (PRUH) in Farnborough.

Michael was shocked at the waiting times he experienced as a patient and saw for himself the pressures NHS staff were working under to do their job with limited resources and staff shortages.

He said: “When I was finally attended to, the nurse explained that she needed a healthcare assistant to help with the chemotherapy set-up and had been trying to find one for over two hours.

“Often, when you are diagnosed with an illness like cancer, family and friends will ask you what they can do to help. This set me thinking about just what could be done.”

Finding funding for much-needed role was the first step

Spurred on to do something to improve the situation, Michael drew on the years of expertise he had built up serving on various boards and committees, including The Sportsman’s Aid Society – later to become the Teenage Cancer Trust – and Young Epilepsy.

Following his successful treatment in 2005, Michael decided to set up a charity, The Chartwell Cancer Trust, named after the unit where he was nursed back to health. The charity was quickly up on its feet and was able to draw on local support to fund the much-needed healthcare assistant role at the PRUH.

But that was just the beginning. The charity’s commitment to the Chartwell Cancer and Leukaemia Unit remains just as strong today. This relationship not only gave the charity its name but has also defined its long-term purpose to make a critical difference to cancer care in all it does.

Along came the robots

As part of its astonishing work to enhance cancer care for young people, Chartwell is funding and maintaining an army of robots to bring inspirational and life-changing technology to young patients, families and schools.

I’ve seen the robots close up, and they are truly amazing. Made by Norwegian innovators No Isolation, this very simple, ingenious technology allows young cancer and leukaemia patients to access their education during and after treatment.

It allows them to virtually attend school, socialise with classmates and remain connected to their support networks and communities from home or hospital.

The AV1 robot has a camera, microphone and speaker. It sits on the student’s desk, and through an app, they can see, hear and speak through it. It’s the next best thing to actually being there, and they are wonderful, ingenious machines.

Can you help a young person stay in touch?

The Chartwell Cancer Trust was the first charity to fund these life-changing robots in our local hospitals and schools, and they are working hard to expand the use of this technology in the UK.

They want to supply enough robots to cover the needs of every child in the charity’s catchment area but that is easier said than done. They need donations to make that ambition a reality.

I’m supporting the charity through my business and through Bromley Business Network, which has also adopted Chartwell as one of its chosen good causes this year.

If you would like to help what is an incredible project run by a wonderful charity, you can donate here.