MEMBERS of the Altrincham and Sale Fundraising Group for the Christie were given a close up view of how they are helping the hospital recently.

They were given a behind the scenes tour of the Proton Beam Therapy Unit and Research Centre currently being built there, to mark the group's 21 years of fund raising.

The unit is costing £250 million to build which is being funded by the NHS but the vital research centre - which will be the only one in the country dedicated to this research - has to be provided by the Christie at a cost of £6 million. The group have so far provided £70,000 towards the cost.

The group members were led round the unit and shown the incredible engineering and building work which is going on. The Proton Beam unit alone weighs 93 tons. It sends the proton beams through a contoured tube system, similar to the Cern Hadron Collider, to any of three treatment rooms (gantries).

They were shown around by Professors Karen and Norman Kirkby of Manchester University and The Christie who are responsible for the operation of the unit and the research centre respectively together with other members of their teams.

Roger Spencer, the chief executive of The Christie, congratulated the group on raising more than £760,000 since it was formed in 1996 by Jean Oglesby. Janice thanked everyone who has served on or helped the committee and all the members of the public who have generously supported it.

If anyone wishes to help the group to keep raising funds for the hospital they can contact Janice Moss on 0161 928 8969 or speak to the appeals office on 0161 446 3988.