LOVE Musgrove - the official charity of Taunton's Musgrove Park Hospital - is delighted to announce The Countess of Wessex as the Royal patron of its campaign to raise £1 million for a new MRI scanner.

The essential piece of diagnostic equipment benefits a huge number of patients who may have cancers, cardiac or joint, tendon and muscle problems.

It will help ensure shorter waiting times for people in Somerset and beyond, as well as providing the hospital with greater overall scanning capacity and allowing it to take part in ground breaking research programmes.

Colin Drummond, the hospital’s chairman, said: “It is an honour and privilege to have The Countess of Wessex as our Royal patron, and we are truly delighted to have her support.

"HRH is a long-standing charitable supporter and her role with Love Musgrove will help to highlight our £1 million campaign and give us the boost needed to help us to achieve our target.

“We look forward to welcoming Her Royal Highness to Musgrove, when she will have the opportunity to meet some of our staff who work so hard to ensure patients have the best care possible.”

The Gazette helped to launch Love Musgrove’s MRI scanner campaign at the end of April, with the backing of Somerset and international cricketer Marcus Trescothick.

Since then the charity has raised over £375,000 towards the purchase of this essential piece of equipment.

Brian Perowne, chairman of Love Musgrove, said: “The support of the community has been phenomenal.

"With events from open gardens to quiz nights, marathons to race days, people across Somerset are really behind this campaign.

“It is wonderful to welcome HRH to the campaign, alongside existing patrons, world class cricketer Marcus Trescothick, the Lord Lieutenant for Somerset Annie Maw and former Lord Lieutenant Lady Elizabeth Gass.

Their support is greatly appreciated by our staff and supporters alike, and is sure to motivate even more fundraising across the county.

“The charity and the hospital are hugely appreciative and are thankful to all who have supported it so far.”

If you are interested in finding out more about the campaign, click here or call the fundraising team on 01823-344437.

Alternatively, to make a gift to the campaign, complete the form in the County Gazette newspaper.

You can also follow campaign updates updates on Twitter @lovemusgrove