A CONCERT by IPEM members held to celebrate the NHS at 70 also raised more than £500 for the Little Linac project.
The concert was held at the National Centre for Early Music in York on the opening night of the MPEC conference.
It was attended by the Rt Hon the Lord Mayor of York, Councillor Keith Orrell, Lady Mayoress, Mrs Judith Orrell, and Fiona Carragher, the Deputy Chief Scientific Officer for England.
IPEM President, Professor Mark Tooley, began the concert on piano, playing pieces by Debussy and Satie, before other members then performed on a variety of instruments, from the violin to the bagpipes, and playing everything from classical pieces to folk tunes.
The highlight of the night was undoubtedly the IPEM Voices choir. Conducted by the Reverend Dr Mike Kirby, a lecturer in radiotherapy physics at the University of Liverpool, the choir rehearsed together for the very first time only an hour before they went on stage and almost brought the house down with their performance.
Fiona Carragher spoke about the importance of science in the NHS and what a crucial role medical physicists and clinical engineers play in modern healthcare.
Dave Jarman, a performance poet, playwright and musician who had been employed by York Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust for the NHS at 70 celebrations, recited a special poem he had written in honour of the NHS.
Professor David Brettle, immediate Past President of IPEM, and whose idea the Little Linac was, talked about how the project had come about, some of the many hurdles it had to overcome and how delighted he was to see it come to fruition after almost three years.
The Little Linac project aims to give every child in the UK under the age of 16 who is having treatment for cancer or leukaemia a free kit of model play bricks to help reduce their stress and anxiety.
Between 1,500 and 1,700 children nationwide develop cancer or leukaemia each year. IPEM has worked with a toy model brick company, Best-Lock Ltd, to produce a model of a linear accelerator (a ‘linac’), which is used in their treatment.
The Institute has bought 3,000 of the Little Linac kits from Best-Lock Ltd and will give 100 of them to each of the 16 paediatric treatment centres across the UK to give to children. The remainder will be transferred to IPEM’s trading subsidiary to sell commercially in order to generate funds to purchase the next 3,000 kits, so the project becomes self-sustaining.
For more about the Little Linac project, or to pre-order a kit, visit the special Little Linac webpage. To view the concert programme, click here.
Rosemary Cook, IPEM’s Chief Executive, said: ‘The concert was brilliant, everyone really enjoyed it and it was a great way to celebrate the NHS through music, song and poetry.
‘I want to thank all of our members who took part and all of our sponsors who supported it. As I said on the night, it could really have been called IPEM’s Got Talent!
‘As well as being a wonderful way to celebrate the NHS at 70 it was fantastic that we raised more than £500 for the Little Linac project.’
Pictured are: Mark Tooley (piano), IPEM Voices, Robert Farley (saxophone), Mike Kirby (chorus master), Lydia Westhead (violin), Anna Gardiner (flute), John Mills (bagpipes), Rachel Bidder & friends (Welsh folk group), and Richard Caley (piano). Also pictured are Lady Mayoress Judith Orrell, Fiona Carragher, Lord Mayor Keith Orrell, Mark Tooley and David Brettle
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