The Longest Day will be Ark Day!

It's a fundraising campaign that people in Basingstoke and Deane are at the heart of – and now Ark Cancer Centre Charity is launching a special 24-hour event where everyone in the borough can make a big difference in a small way.

Friday, June 21, 2019 will be Ark Day – a day when everyone in the town and borough can play a part by supporting the charity that is raising £5million to help fund the much-needed NHS cancer treatment centre at Basingstoke hospital.

‘For the people, by the people’ is Ark Cancer Centre Charity’s campaign message – and local people have been the driving force behind a fundraising campaign that has now passed the £2m milestone.

In 2019, Ark Cancer Centre Charity wants the Basingstoke and Deane community to make a really big difference on Friday, June 21 – the longest daylight day of the year – by raising as much money as possible for the good cause in 24 hours.

Every pound counts – and that’s why £1 donations will be at the heart of the Ark Day fundraising campaign. And it’s also very much about putting the fun into fundraising as people of all ages are encouraged to have a good time while raising money for the good cause.

“People have the power to make a really big difference with a small donation on Ark Day,” said world-leading liver cancer surgeon Merv Rees, who is a trustee of Ark Cancer Centre Charity, and a driving force behind the cancer treatment centre project.

“Nearly 180,000 people live in Basingstoke and Deane. If everyone donates just £1 on Friday, June 21, then this will make a massive difference to Ark’s £5m campaign.”

The team behind Ark Day will be organising a series of special events on June 21 – a daybreak golf competition and a sponsored firewalk are already in the pipeline.

It is hoped that local people, businesses, schools and community organisations will support these and also organise their own fundraising activities. A static sponsored cycle ride or rowathon, cake sales and sponsored dress-down days are just a few of the many ways that people can get involved.

All 76 schools in the Basingstoke and Deane area will be encouraged to have a non-uniform day where pupils can come to school in blue, yellow and green – the Ark Cancer Centre Charity colours – and make a £1 donation.

The Ark Day Organising Committee features volunteers from a range of well-known local companies and organisations – Apollo Hotel, Arkriders, Clarke & Son Solicitors, Champion Group, Lamb Brooks Solicitors, Metro Bank, Perpetual Flowers, RewindDigital, Rotary Basingstoke Deane – as well as members of Ark Cancer Centre Charity’s team. The Gazette is also represented on the committee and is the media supporter for Ark Day.

The planning for Ark Day began last Summer, and a website, facebook and twitter feeds have all now been launched. Go to where you can find out all you need to know about Ark Day and can register to take part.

Ark Cancer Centre Charity’s £5m will provide a range of support services and complementary therapies, alongside chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments, in a calm and uplifting environment.

Largely being funded by Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (HHFT), plans are progressing to locate the new cancer treatment centre on the existing Basingstoke hospital site.

  • You can follow Ark Day on facebook and on twitter @ark_day. To register your Ark Day event, go to and sign up using the forms that can be found under the schools, business and community sections.

Picture caption: The Ark Day campaign launch at Castle Hill Primary School - one of the many schools that will be supporting Ark Day