A NURSE set on raising funds for the Great Western Hospital’s Breast Cancer Appeal stopped at nothing to reach her goal – even spending time behind bars.

Sam Backway roped in six of her colleagues on Monday and together they were locked up in a makeshift jail in the hospital atrium. The convicts then proceeded to beg colleagues and visitors passing by to bail them out by dropping a few coins in a bucket.

Once the inmates’ jailers were satisfied with the amount – an impressive £412 collected in just 30 minutes – they let them go.

The stunt proved an unusual yet lucrative way to help secure £75,000 toward pioneering radiotherapy treatment at GWH.

“People were throwing tenners at us at one point,” said Sam, GWH’s sleep specialist nurse. “We got into it and shouted to people to help us out and to let us go.

“We were all dressed up as convicts and we even had invented charges. One of us was charged with eating too many chunky Kit Kats and the diabetes nurse was charged with being too sweet.

“It was fun and it got the word out about the Breast Cancer Appeal, which is very important.

“The treatment is going to give women their lives back, stop them from having to travel to Oxford to get radiotherapy, and treat their cancer.”

The treatment would zap areas affected by breast cancer with targeted radiotherapy while patients are still in the operating room. This means they would not have to travel to Oxford every day for weeks on end to receive a traditional course of radiotherapy following surgery.

The cutting edge procedure could change the lives of 150 women in Swindon each year.

Sam will be taking part in GWH’s Three Cities cycling challenge this summer, held in aid of the appeal, for which she must raise £1,500 in sponsorship.

After Googling fundraising ideas, she opted for a Jail and Bail to help her reach her fundraising target.

“I am doing the Three Cities challenge and I had already done a cake stall to raise money for it but I wanted to do something a bit different. My husband made us a cardboard jail.

“I think it got people talking about the appeal.”

To donate to the Breast Cancer Appeal visit call 01793 605631, email fundraising@gwh.nhs.uk or visit www.gwh.nhs.uk/about-us/news/gwh-launches-new-breast-cancer-treatment-appeal.