The “great and the good of Surrey” turned out at Haslemere Hall for a fundraising concert in aid of the proposed new state-of-the-art surgical centre at Royal Surrey County Hospital.

The concert, A Positive Note, was held on Saturday, February 25 organised by community fundraising group Friends of Royal Surrey Charity, chaired by Farnham woman Judith Storey, and raised £3,700.

Royal Surrey Choir, Midhurst Community Choir, Haslemere Rock Choir and Haslemere Players performed music from the charts and the musical stage, led by musical director Jake Hellier, who himself works for NHS England.

The atmospheric finale saw all four choirs come together to sing We are the Champions.

Along with members of the community, attending were the High Sheriff of Surrey, Christopher Critchlow; MP for Guildford, Angela Richardson; Police and Crime Commissioner for Surrey, Lisa Townsend; mayor of Haslemere, Councillor Jacquie Keen; and chair of Royal Surrey NHS Foundation Trust, Susan Sjuve.

South West Surrey MP Jeremy Hunt was overseas in India, representing the UK at a meeting of the G7 and couldn’t make it.

But standing in for her neighbour, Angela Richardson said: “The Friends team are just amazing – they worked their socks off to get the great and the good of Surrey to go along, and there are lots of other events planned over the next year or so too.

“The government has promised £25 million for the new cancer and surgical innovation centre, but we’ve still got to raise £5m ourselves.

“We already do incredibly well with our health provision in this area, and we don’t have anything like the Covid backlogs seen elsewhere here.

“But we want Guildford to be the cancer centre of excellence in the south east.

“That’s the aim, and we’ll work our socks off to make that happen, so residents can be assured the NHS provision they’ve got is great and we will continue to make it better.”

Police commissioner Lisa Townsend added: “Judith and the whole team at the Friends of the Royal Surrey do such a fantastic job so it’s great to be able to support this event.

“We do have a fantastic county, we’re very very fortunate – but we’ll only stay that way if we can keep people safe, which is my job, but healthy as well, and that’s what the Royal Surrey does so well.”

Judith Storey, chairperson of Friends of Royal Surrey Charity and event organiser, said: “We raised the roof with song and happiness spread throughout the audience – thank you to everyone who came along to show their support, and to our wonderful volunteers.

“We are so pleased to have raised a brilliant amount towards Royal Surrey Charity’s Cancer and Surgical Innovation Campaign.

“We are very grateful to Home Instead Godalming and Moma restaurant in Haslemere for sponsoring the event, and to all the local businesses which donated raffle prizes.”

All money raised from the evening will go towards the campaign, which will see Royal Surrey NHS Foundation Trust build on its world-class services in the fields of traditional and robotic surgery, enhance its theatre capacity and improve patient experiences and outcomes throughout Surrey and the south east.

The new centre will mean 7,000 more patients, including those with a life-threatening cancer diagnosis, will receive treatment every year.

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