The ARK Fundraising Committee organised a second Sponsored Walk in the grounds of Basingstoke Hospital. Entrants were invited to dress up, and were waved off by Sir George Young who did the 5 km walk with his wife Aurelia. The walk raised between £8-10,000.
The ARK is a new medical education, conference, cancer teaching and research centre embracing a pioneering concept whereby doctors, dentists, nurses, allied health professionals, volunteer groups and the community are housed together. Attached to (but independent of) the North Hampshire Hospital, it is owned by the North Hampshire Medical Education Trust and is managed by the Charity's subsidiary company Ark Conference Centre Limited. The ARK aims to be self-funding and any future profits distributed by the Trust for the benefit of medical education and training. The ARK Includes:
* Surgical teaching suites focusing on the treatment of the pelvic and liver cancers (under the auspices of the Pelican Cancer Foundation) for which surgeons Professor Bill Heald, Mr. Myrddin Rees, Mr. Tim John, Mr. Brendan Moran and Mr. Chris Eden have become recognised world leaders in their fields. The ARK will allow them to share their life-enhancing skills with a wider national and international audience.
* Lecture Theatres (200-seat and 45-seat) with live video-link capability to the Hospital's operating theatres, cardiac catheterisation suite and eventually to the planned new endoscopy suite.
* Seminar and Meeting Rooms equipped with the latest IT and audio-visual capability.
* Reception and Dining Facilities, which will ensure the ARK's position as a key location for regional and national medical conferences.
* Cob-rectal and Liver Cancer Research Offices.
* Cardiac Research Office - conducting research on performance of the heart.
* Post Graduate & Medical Personnel Centre for Doctors.
* Teaching facilities for use by Southampton University's undergraduate and postgraduate School of Nursing & Midwifery.
* Healthcare Library and IT Centre.
* Knee Surgery - the internationally renowned arthroscopic surgery of Mr. Neil Thomas will be taught.
* Arthritis Trust Offices - for extending the role of patient education programmes, for patient support group meetings and as a base for ongoing research into the management of rheumatic disorders.
* Community Room - for free use by certain local Voluntary Carer Groups.
* Recognized Practitioners of Complementary Medicine - who will also be welcome to hire the ARK's facilities for educational or conference purposes.
After many years of fundraising and planning, the Centre is now operational. Fundraising continues to ensure all commitments are met, to complete the "fit-out," help with the "start-up" costs and to sponsor certain worthwhile non-doctor group meetings within the ARK. The aim is to raise another £250,000 during the next 18 months.