BUSINESSES are being urged to make a New Year’s resolution to support a campaign to establish a centre of excellence for cancer care patients in County Durham.

The “2020 for 2020” initiative is the latest stage of fundraising by the County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust’s official charity to enhance and extend the chemotherapy unit at University Hospital of North Durham.

The New Year objective is to sign up 2,020 business willing to raise £1,000 during 2020 for the “Excellence in Cancer Care” campaign, which is being supported by The Northern Echo to mark its 150th anniversary as a campaigning newspaper.

The campaign’s overall aim is to create a facility where those suffering with cancer get the privacy and dignity they need.

The money raised would be used to expand and improve the chemotherapy day unit at the University Hospital of North Durham, where cancer patients from throughout the county can choose to have their initial treatment.

An increasing number of patients means a lack of space is making it difficult for dedicated staff to treat those who are going through the most traumatic time of their lives.

Pat Chambers, the manager of the charity, said: “We have had a wonderful response from members of the public, and we desperately want them to carry on doing whatever they can.

“However, we also need businesses to come on board with larger donations to make the dream a reality. We came up with the idea of trying to register 2,020 businesses making a commitment to raise £1,000 during 2020, with every penny going towards improving the care of cancer patients.”

As part of its support for the campaign, The Northern Echo will be publishing a regular roll of honour, publicising the companies and organisations making the £1,000 pledge.

The following have already signed up: Sparta Group, Ocreas Financial, One Gym, Rotary Durham, Go Swim Academy, Nando’s (Durham), N. Alderson Funeral Director, Fatso’s Darlington, Civic Estates, Productive Plus, My Lock Up, Bliss Financial Solutions, Presenter Martin Lowes of Capital Radio, Lliane Pacewith, Frank’s For Flooring, Maguire’s Country Parks; Excelpoint Ltd; Snap Fitness; Mike Renton.

•To support the appeal, email the County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust Charity Team on or call 01325-743781 or donate at