Anglers reel in £2600 to help cancer patients


A FISHING competition has reeled in £2,600 to go towards the redevelopment of a hospital facility for treating patients with blood cancers and other blood disorders.

Lower Tees Angling Association holds an annual blue ribbon event at the start of the fishing season – The James Cook Hospital cup – which attracted more than 90 competitors.

Now the money raised through the tournament, which was sponsored by the Environment Agency, will be put towards an appeal to redevelop the haematology unit at the Middlesbrough hospital.

Currently, the environment for patients and visitors on the unit is far from ideal but plans are underway to relocate the services to another part of the hospital in 2014.

Match secretary Jeff Herbert said: “The idea for the cup came about after my wife received treatment for cancer, and later other health conditions, at the hospital. I’m pleased to say she’s fine now and the care she had was second to none.”

Clinical director of haematology Dr Diane Plews said: “The current environment is far from ideal for patients and their visitors, who often have to spend a lot of time sitting around due to the nature of their treatment.

“We want to provide a first class facility for treating patients with blood cancers and other blood disorders – designed with the patient in mind.”

The winner of the trophy – which was generously paid for by Middlesbrough car dealership SG Petch – was Craig Devlin from Stockton.

Chairman of Lower Tees Angling Association, Dave Munt, added: “We’d just like to thank the angling clubs, especially Billingham and Stockton who made a further donation and Darlington Angling Club for making the tournament possible.

Half of the money was provided by the Environment Agency, which sponsors fishing matches on all three of the main rivers in the North east.

Robbie Stevenson from the Environment Agency said: “These matches work quite well in giving us a snapshot of our fish stocks and help us to identify gaps between years. Plus they’re a great opportunity to get anglers on the river and to help out worthy causes.”

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