Councillor’s cash funds pilot scheme to help people with prostate cancer

Cllr Gill Mercer presenting the cheque to Prostaid
Cllr Gill Mercer presenting the cheque to Prostaid

People with prostate cancer can now have specialist equipment in their homes thanks to funding from the former chairman of East Northamptonshire Council.

During Cllr Gill Mercer’s year as chairman of the district council, she raised £5,000 for Prostaid.

The charity is an independent local charity which tries to improve the treatment and awareness of prostate cancer, and Cllr Mercer recently presented them with a cheque for some of the money raised.

Statistics show that 10 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer and three men die of it every week in Northamptonshire.

Cllr Mercer said: “Prostaid identified a need for recliner chairs for terminally ill patients with prostate cancer.

“The chairs are loaned to the patients in their homes and give them much needed comfort and independence and also a more comfortable alternative to lying on a bed.

“Prostaid needed funding for this for a pilot for one year to prove that the service was valuable.

“My fundraising enabled them to pay for this.”

The chairs were provided by BLR Distribution of Northampton, who were delighted to be part of the pilot.

Prostaid has been trialling the project for several months and has already had feedback from one resident in East Northamptonshire who said that the chair has really helped him.

Alistair Fergusson, chairman of the Northampton committee of Prostaid, said: “It is good to have this feedback to show the benefit of this service.

“We are very grateful to Cllr Mercer for making this possible.”

In total, Cllr Mercer raised £5,000 for Prostaid during her year of office.

Earlier in the year she presented Prostaid with a cheque which has helped to fund Lucy Goddard as a specialist palliative prostate cancer nurse.

Lucy is based at Cynthia Spencer Hospice in Northampton, but visits patients in their home to give them care and support.

Lucy is the first prostate cancer palliative care community nurse in the UK.

For more information about the charity go to www.prostaid.co.uk.