A cancer charity was unable to raise the funds it needed to secure its new premises, but staff have not given up hope and fundraising efforts will continue.

Staff at the Hummingbird Centre, Bicester, were tasked with raising £700,000 within two weeks to secure the former Italian restaurant, Rigoletto, in Middleton Stoney, as their new permanent home.

Fundraising efforts fell short of target and the property went into sealed bids yesterday, Tuesday June 21st.

Despite the obstacle, Hummingbird Center staff are determined to improve their current premises, continue fundraising and one day lock down a permanent site.

Read more: Oxfordshire cancer charity is hosting a summer festival

Renee Booth, who became CEO of the Hummingbird Center in April this year, said: “Unfortunately, we were quite far from our fundraising goals. But the effort brought many positive things.

“It has raised our profile and put us in touch with many other customers. With all the media attention, we’ve been inundated with people wanting our support, and that’s why we’re here, to support people.

“We have a few other good funding opportunities through grants and local trusts looking at us now and ready to hold meetings.

“All of this experience has really pushed us to look to the future; we have to grow.

Ms Booth confirmed that the aim is still to secure permanent ownership for the centre.

She explained: “We have decided to temporarily take a step back and make some changes within the center itself.

“We are making space for two additional consultation rooms, in order to cope with the current influx of patients.

“We just have to keep an eye on a new property. It may have seemed like Rigoletto was perfect, but I’m sure there are many more.

“We have been overwhelmed with public support. The social media reaction has been huge. We just want to thank everyone who has liked or shared a post or made a donation. It gave us a fantastic base to build on.

Ms Booth said the center was now seeking funding from trusts and foundations and was organizing a host of fundraising activities and events to help it raise funds.

One of those events is the charity’s Summer Festival, which will take place on Saturday, July 16 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Launton Playing Fields.

Customers can enjoy a dog show, stalls, food and refreshments, games, a bouncy castle, face painting and a bottle stand.

The association is appealing for donations of bottles for the stand and children’s toys for the raffle.

This story was written by Matthew Norman, he joined the team in 2022 as a Facebook Community Reporter.

Matthew covers Bicester and focuses on researching stories from diverse communities.

Contact him by email: [email protected]

Follow him on Twitter: @OxMailMattN1

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