In support of a pupil currently battling cancer, and after surviving childhood cancer herself, a teaching assistant is swimming 5,000 metres next week to raise money for the East and North Hertfordshire Hospitals' Charity.

Lucy Pinkstone, who works at St Christopher School in Letchworth, is specifically raising money for oncology and the children's Bluebell Ward at Stevenage's Lister Hospital "due to having a current pupil with cancer undergoing treatment there," she said.

Lucy added: "It's also close to my heart due to having been treated there 25 years ago this year when I had cancer as a child.

"I'd love to give back something in return, and I know that there are few items available for junior age children and adolescents to entertain them while they're undergoing treatments and blood transfusions.

"I will be swimming 5,000 metres - three miles - on Thursday, June 30. I would appreciate any donation you can give, big or small."

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By investing in extra equipment, facilities and research, the charity supports the hospitals run by the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust - Lister in Stevenage, New QEII in Welwyn Garden City, Hertford County, and Mount Vernon in Northwood.

The charity's Impact Report for 2021/2022 details how it raised £1,337,771 through a variety of ways, including fundraising, donations and legacies.

This money funded a variety of initiatives, including sponsoring Admiral nurses to work on the dementia ward, providing a cancer hair care service to support patients experiencing hair loss through treatment, and buying equipment to support research into advanced kidney disease.

The charity has also invested in a new woodland walkway, wildflower meadow and fern garden at Mount Vernon Cancer Centre, and built a chemotherapy shelter so patients can receive short treatments outdoors, while remaining sheltered from the sun and rain.

"Staff now make circular walks part of their daily routine and our patients are able to spend more time outdoors, in comfort," said a spokesman for the East and North Hertfordshire Hospitals' Charity.

For more information about the charity, including ways in which you can support it, visit