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Charity appeal to bring vital cancer treatment to Wiltshire

284 balloons were released - the number of patients diagnosed with cancer at the hospital each month. Credit: ITV News

Cancer patients forced to make a 70-mile round trip for radiotherapy treatment have welcomed a campaign to build a facility closer to home.

Great Western Hospital in Swindon has launched an appeal to raise £2.9 million for a radiotherapy centre, so that thousands of patients no longer have to make the long trek to Oxford for up to seven weeks of treatment.

With support from the public and final approval, it is hoped that the centre will be open by the end of 2017.

The appeal was launched at Great Western Hospital today, with 284 balloons released to mark the number of patients diagnosed with cancer there each month.

Brighter Futures, the Great Western Hospitals Trust charity organising the appeal, hope to inspire local people to get involved in fundraising events.

Artist's impression of what the radiotherapy centre would look like. Credit: Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Bringing radiotherapy treatment to Swindon will make such a difference to local patients and their families, friends and carers and will be an excellent addition to the facilities already available at GWH.

We are working closely with our colleagues at Oxford to make this vision a reality and I am sure that local people will get behind the fundraising appeal.

– Dr Guy Rooney, Medical Director, Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

BREAKING: Former Swindon Town manager Andy King dies

Andy King managed Swindon Town in the early 2000s. Credit: David Davies/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Andy King, a former manager of Swindon Town FC, has died at the age of 58.

The football legend who managed Swindon Town a couple of times between 2000 and 2005, is believed to have suffered a heart attack earlier today. Before his work as a manager he enjoyed a long playing career that included a legendary stint at Premiership side Everton during the seventies.

Tributes have been paid to him on Twitter by clubs and fans.

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Swindon's promotion dream is over

Preston North End's Jermaine Beckford scores his third, and his side's four goal against Swindon at Wembley. Credit: Daniel Hambury/PA Wire

Swindon Town's hopes of playing in the Championship next season are over after losing 4-0 to Preston in the play-off final at Wembley.

Jermaine Beckford gave the Lilywhites a 3rd minute lead. Paul Huntington doubled the advantage 10 minutes later.

Beckford curled in his second just before half-time, and completed his hat-trick in the 57th minute.

Fans arrive to watch Swindon in play-off final

The Powell family wave their flags with pride. Credit: ITV News West Country

Swindon Town fans have been arriving at Wembley hoping for success in the play-off final.

The club are taking on Preston North End for a spot in the Championship. Kick off is at 17:30.

Fans gather ahead of the match. Credit: ITV News West Country

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IPCC to investigate officers on Swindon stabbing case

Alison Connolly was found at the bottom of a stairwell in Swindon after being stabbed. Credit: Family

Wiltshire Police have referred their own officers to the Independent Police Complaints Commission over their handling of the Alison Connolly murder case, because they were in contact with her before her death.

Police say the IPCC referral was mandatory in these circumstances, and that there will be an independent investigation.

The 49-year-old mother was stabbed to death in Swindon last week. Sisters Charice Gassman, 19, and Amberstasia Gassman, 23, appeared in court yesterday charged with her murder.

Sisters in court over Swindon stabbing murder

Alison Connolly was found at the bottom of a stairwell in Swindon. Credit: Family

Two sisters have appeared in court charged with the murder of a woman in Swindon.

Alison Connolly, 49, died following an attack in Park South last Tuesday. 19-year-old Charice Gassman and Amberstasia Gassman, 23, appeared at Bristol Crown Court this morning.

The hearing was adjourned until next month, and the pair have been remanded in custody.

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