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Published on July 7th, 2010 | by Patrick Riley

Ecclesnuts Making A Difference

Isn’t it great the way Doctor Who fans are able to change the world for the better?  Lately, we’ve been reporting about Art for Hearts, an auction of Doctor Who artwork to fund organ transplants, but the charities don’t stop there!  Today we have for you another fundraiser by a group known as Team Ecclesnut, a friendly tribe of online Christopher Eccleston lovers raising money for the Christie radiotherapy center currently under construction at Salford Royal.

Former Doctor Who Christopher EcclestonRuth Maguire and Louise Lacy, heads of Team Ecclesnut and arguably the biggest Christopher Eccleston fans in the world, have put up a page on JustGiving with an aim of raising £1000 of the Christie NHS Foundation Trust’s goal of £250,000.

Says the Christie,

“As well as treating patients for the most common cancers like breast, bowel and lung, this special development will also be a national centre of excellence for treating brain conditions. It will be equipped to deliver stereotactic radiosurgery, a highly specialised neurosurgical technique for brain cancers – making it one of only a handful of such centres in the UK.

“Currently patients from Greater Manchester have to travel to Sheffield for this treatment.”

Certainly the Christie will need a fair amount of money to make these facilities, scheduled to open in 2011, a reality.  But why did Ruth and Louise choose this particular radiotherapy centre as the focus for a charity run by Eccleston fans?  This press release quote from Chris himself should answer that:

“Having supported The Christie for many years, I am delighted that they are bringing their expert and life-saving care to my home city of Salford. Building a Christie radiotherapy centre in Salford will mean vital treatment can be delivered closer to people’s homes. This will make a massive difference to the lives of future cancer patients in this area so I am urging everyone to do what they can to support the Salford Advertiser’s campaign.”

There are a lot of negative connotations associated with being famous, but one of the good things that come from being in a position of heavy following is the fact that the popular person, in this case Eccleston, is able to spread the word about charities important to him and gain his fans’ support of them.  And supporting Eccleston’s causes is exactly what Team Ecclesnut is all about.

The group started as, and still is, a Facebook fan page (or “like” page, or whatever they’re calling it these days) for Christopher Eccleston lovers, or “Ecclesnuts,” and has grown to play host to over 7000 members from 20 different countries.  On the page, according to Ruth,

“We do all the things that fans do – discuss Chris’s work, quote random lines at each other, post each other updates, admire his excellent ears (sorry, Chris!) and frequently, we post links to the charities and causes which he supports. We have become increasingly aware that as such a large group of fans, maybe we could really make a difference to one of these causes.”

Ruth’s and Louise’s efforts have raised nearly £700, which is 70% of the goal, but they still need help!  For more information about the cause and how to donate, head over to Team Ecclesnut’s JustGiving page.  Also, to get in on the Eccleston-loving action, follow TeamEcclesnut on Twitter or join the original party on Facebook!

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About the Author

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Patrick is a temporal hitchhiker who spends most of his time in the future. His favourite Doctor is the Fourteenth. If you're especially lucky, you might even hear him tweet to all you merry folk in the past @10PatrickRiley.



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