A HUGE appeal to raise £800,000 to build a much-needed extension for The Woodlands Cancer Centre has reached its first major landmark.

The total has topped £100,000 in just under four months thanks to fundraisers involving ducks, walks, runs, a car boot sale and much more, including plumber Steve Sargeant being sponsored to wear shorts to work every day throughout winter.

A stream of donations have been pouring in for the "Buy a Brick" campaign, which has seen people buying a virtual building block, often in memory of a loved one, for a minimum donation of £5.

The names of all those who donate will be used to produce a picture of the centre, created by The Hunts Post, which is backing the appeal, to go on display when the extension is finished.

Lynda Hall, lead nurse at the Hinchingbrooke Hospital unit, said: "Since The Hunts Post has been involved with the Woodlands centre, fundraising has been growing in momentum.

"The Woodlands staff would like to thank everyone who has bought a brick or arranged fundraising events to help support the extension project and to encourage those who haven't to dig deep and buy a brick."

The amount raised is being recorded on a totaliser board, on display outside the unit, made by the Brampton-based London House Signs. It is based on the Woodlands logo, with leaves representing the total, pictured.

Banners promoting the appeal have been donated by House of Flags in Kimbolton, courtesy of company chairman Ian Simmonds. Other contributions include a £250 donation from the Snooty Tavern in Great Staughton, where 10 per cent of every sale of a chicken dish went towards Woodlands.

Department store Barretts of St Neots, celebrating 125 years of trading, has adopted the appeal as its charity of the year.

The unit's "Buy a brick" is one of the charities shoppers can support with tokens in Huntingdon's Waitrose this month. It is due to feature at the St Neots branch during September. Eaton Socon ex-servicemen's club has pledged use of the venue for free and is raising money for the appeal throughout the year.