A MEDICAL charity is celebrating its half century with a VIP gala evening in Malvern next month.

Cobalt – which raises cash for medical research, treatment, prevention and diagnosis – will hold the event on Thursday, May 8 as part of the Royal Horticultural Society’s Malvern Spring Festival at the Three Counties Showground.

The event is being held in support of the charity’s Diagnostic Imaging for Life Anniversary Appeal, which is aiming to raise half a million pounds to make the best Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and Computer Tomography (CT) equipment available in Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Gloucestershire.

The new equipment will be used to diagnose cancer, dementia and infections and can also be used to measure the effectiveness of medications.

Attendees will be given exclusive access to the show gardens and be treated to a champagne reception, canapés, live music as well as a speech by a surprise celebrity gardener and a special auction.

The charity’s fundraising manager Sam Watson said he was delighted the event was being held as part of next month’s festival.

“Through this event we hope to raise thousands to help people get faster, safer and clearer scans,” he said.

“A new PET/CT scanner will be the first of the next generation of imaging equipment, enabling us to continue offering the very best in patient care and diagnosis to nearly 3,000 people a year, train medical staff in essential new technology and develop our research programme.

“I do hope that our supporters and gardening enthusiasts alike will join us and help to save and improve lives across the Three Counties and beyond.”

Cobalt was founded in 1964 and recently raised £160,000 for digital mammography equipment at Hereford County Hospital.

For tickets or more information call 01242 535 922 or visit www.cobaltevents.co.uk.