King of the Jungle and football manager, Harry Redknapp, has put himself forward to be Wessex Cancer Trust's appeal patron and get behind our mission to raise £600,000 by the end of January 2020.

Harry, who lives in Sandbanks in Poole, heard that Wessex Cancer Trust needs to raise the money or may be forced to close. He immediately went to visit our Bournemouth cancer Support Centre when he joined its busy coffee morning and talked to people living with cancer about how Wessex Cancer Trust is supporting them and how they would feel if the charity was forced to close. 

Harry with ITV Meridian presenter Fred Dinenage during filming at their studios, with Wessex Cancer Trust's Director of Development, Sofie Bennett, and Community Engagement Manager, Heidi Rehman 

He said:

Sometimes people don't take action until something affects them directly. Most of us will be touched by cancer at some point and we need to take action now. I've been down to the Support Centre and they do an amazing job helping people who are struggling. If you've got cancer you can feel really isolated when you come out of hospital and Wessex Cancer Trust is there for them to make them feel better. It's a life-saving service and we need to make a massive effort now to keep it going.

Justine Marley, who is being supported by our Bournemouth Support Centre, said it has been a sanctuary for her:

Having cancer is gruelling and affects every area of your life. In the day-to-day you hold it together, but when you come here you can just say whatever's on your mind and that's invaluable.

Wessex Cancer Trust, which has been supporting local families for almost 40 years, has seen a 30% increase in demand for its services this year. It has also been hit by a 65% reduction in people leaving a gift in their will and the decline in the high street which has seen its shop sales fall by 15%. A large, previously notified gift has been delayed and taken together these factors have tipped the charity into a crisis situation. 

We currently support around 11,000 people every year through our four cancer Support Centres which provide a drop-in service, professional counselling, complementary therapies, activities, support groups and courses. We also run outreach services, popular Sing for Life choirs and transport on our Daisy Buses to help patients get to their hospital appointments.

To help:

  • Text 'SAVEWESSEX' to 70085 to donate £10. This costs £10 plus a standard rate message
  • Donate online by visiting
  • Spread the word on social media using the hashtag #SaveWessexCancerTrust
  • Organise a fundraising event or activity

  For more information about the appeal click here    

Photo credit: ITV Meridian