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SOUTHEND’S newly elected mayor has pledged her support to two causes close to her heart.

Fay Evans is a breast cancer survivor. It is her personal experiences that have inspired her to fight to improve cancer facilities - especially for breast cancer and prostate cancer - at Southend Hospital during her term.

As well as funding specialist treatment machines, she hopes to brighten up the wards to bring much-needed joy to patients.

Mrs Evans was officially sworn in as mayor in May. Explaining her passion for helping those living with the deadly disease, she said: “Far too many families are affected by cancer.

“If I could wave a magic wand as mayor then I would, but I will certainly do what I can through the charity fund to support those living through prostate or breast cancer.

“Some people don’t realise how wonderful Southend Hospital is. We just can’t praise the staff enough.”

Her comments come after the Mid and South Essex Success Regime backed down on plans to downgrade Southend Hospital’s A&E department. It is now set to focus on creating specialist areas at Basildon, Southend and Broomfield, in Chelmsford – with Southend set to be a dedicated cancer centre.

Mrs Evans added: “The money will improve the treatment machineries in the breast and prostate cancer wards.

The funds will also purchase items for patients’ rooms to brighten up their lives.

“It’s just a joy to see people light up. I want to make their lives a little bit better even if it’s just a little while.

“People are so kind and generous. Even if someone gives £10, though it doesn’t sound like a lot it will make a big difference.

Mrs Evans has been a councillor for 18 years, currently representing the Tories in West Leigh.

Before entering politics, she was already active in supporting breast cancer patients. She and her friends set up the charity Bosom Pals which has been running for over 20 years.

The organisation works closely with breast cancer nurses at Southend hospital and set up support groups for patients.

Mrs Evans added: “I just like helping people.” She is currently organising a fundraising event for Saturday, August 12.