By Natasha David-Hilton
Stars came out to celebrate a tenth anniversary gala dinner in aid of North Manchester General Hospital on Saturday night.
The Blossom Appeal is an independent charity which raises money for the breast cancer care unit at North Manchester, with many of its members and supporters having been affected by the disease.
Nicola Wheeler (Emmerdale’s Nicola De Souza), Sacha Parkinson (Sian Powers from Coronation Street) and Brooke Vincent (Corrie’s Sophie Webster) all helped commemorate a decade of fund-raising.
The dinner, held at The Midland hotel, marked the charity’s tenth birthday and was Blossom’s biggest event yet.
The evening raised more than £18,000 and went towards Blossom’s target of £250,000 to help fund a larger integrated breast care unit at North Manchester.
Chairwoman Iris David said: “The Gala Dinner was a fantastic success, we could not have asked for a better night.”
The money raised is vital to the hospital’s Breast Care Unit and provides equipment, and facilities that the NHS cannot afford, as well as specialist complementary therapy sessions for patients, to help make their journey more comfortable and promote a speedier recovery.
Ms David explained: “It’s the little things that make all the difference.”
The charity has several supportive patrons including Kym Marsh, Jamie Lomas, Suranne Jones, Vicky Binns (Coronation Street’s Molly Dobbs) and Emmerdale’s Nicola Wheeler.
Suranne Jones, Blossom’s founding patron, said: “You can be assured that all the money raised will benefit the people within the North Manchester and surrounding communities.”
Since Blossom began in 2000, the charity has raised over £200,000 for the unit, purchasing equipment such as an Oesophageal Doppler (which reduces the operating time for patients undergoing more complex reconstructive surgery), a Ventana Benchmark (which can identify a cancer in a matter of hours) and an ultrasound scanner.
Breast Care Nurse and Blossom’s Committee Treasurer, Francis Rosenberg, explained just what the charity means to the hospital: “Without Blossom the Breast Care Unit at North Manchester would not be what it is today.”