THE Breast Cancer Unit Campaign has hit £300,000 as fundraisers across Salisbury and south Wiltshire support the cause.

The campaign was launched on September 11 with £190,000 and supporters have been taking part in a wide variety of events and activities.

Backed by the Journal, readers have been hiking, running and organising lunches in addition to holding cake sales and opening up a dinosaur park in the case of Carl Chambers of In-Excess.

The most recent donation has come from the Berwick St John Fair held in September which raised £33,000, a record amount for the event.

Breast specialist nurse Shirley Holmes said the team was thrilled to have reached the landmark figure.

“We have been heartened by the enthusiasm and generosity of the local community from many different walks of life, towards our new unit,” she said.

“We must strive to keep the momentum going and are enjoying the fundraising events and seeing simple and different innovations that are raising money for our appeal. “Every penny donated will go towards the new unit and we have some wonderful opportunities to name individual rooms or even the new unit itself. So please keep donating and here’s to the next £450k to make this a reality.”

The campaign seeks to raise £750,000 to provide a dedicated breast cancer unit at Salisbury District Hospital, helping patients receive faster diagnosis and be treated in a purpose-built environment.

The new unit will include counselling rooms for women who have just been told they have cancer and will also mean patients will no longer need to visit other departments or repeatedly dress and undress for mammograms and scans.

The Journal’s editor Bill Browne said the reaction of readers and customers to the appeal had been fantastic.

“The dedicated breast unit has been on the hospital’s wish list for some time and it was with delight that we said we would partner it in trying to create the very best of conditions to consult and treat patients,” he said.

“Well done to all those who have already pledged to be involved and please do keep us informed of your efforts.”

Events held so far have included those at the Silver Plough pub in Pitton which raised more than £3k, local businesses raising £9k by taking part in Spire FM’s Bring a Pound to Work Day and Michael Beck collecting £6k with Wally the Wheelbarrow at the hospital.