To help raise funds for the Ark Facility Appeal - see details below - Sir George launched the sponsored walk in the grounds of Basingstoke Hospital, and then joined the walkers - some of whom had dressed up for the occasion.
"Many of those taking part had benefited from the work of Myrrdin Rees and his team and were only too happy to raise funds to help promote and develop their work."
The ARK will be a new medical education and conference centre that embraces a pioneering concept whereby doctors, dentists, nurses, allied health professionals, volunteer groups and the community will be housed together. Attached to (but independent of) the North Hampshire Hospital, it will be owned by the North Hampshire Medical Education Trust and is being built and managed by the charity's subsidiary company Ark Conference Centre Limited. Once operational, the ARK aims to be self-funding and any future profits distributed by the Trust for the benefit of medical education and training. Building started March 2001 and completion is anticipated mid 2002.
The ARK Will Include:
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.
Seminar rooms and reception and dining facilities will ensure the ARK's position as a key location for regional and national medical conferences.
* Colo-rectal and Liver Cancer Research Offices.
* Cancer Information - for medical professionals and the community.
* Cardiac Research Office - conducting research on performance of the heart.
* Post Graduate Centre for Doctors.
* Facilities for use by Southampton University's undergraduate and postgraduate Nursing School.
* Medical Library and IT Centre.
* Knee Surgery - the internationally renowned arthroscopic surgery of Mr. Neil Thomas will be taught.
* Rheumatology 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 Voluntary Carer Groups e.g. Cruse Bereavement Care, Alzheimer's Society and others.
* The ARK will welcome recognised practitioners of Complementary Medicine.
Local chiropractors and osteopaths have indicated they will hold their regional meetings in the ARK.
Current Project Situation
We are now in the final stages of the fundraising with over £4.25 million committed, of a target £4.5 million. Our major supporter is the Dinwoodie Trust, though generous donations and pledges have come in from a wide variety of sources.