Last week, the East Surrey Macmillan Cancer Support Centre based at East Surrey Hospital, celebrated its third anniversary since it opened its doors in January 2016.
The centre, developed through a partnership between Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust (SASH) who run East Surrey Hospital and charity Macmillan Cancer Support, was designed by experts and people affected by cancer to offer additional holistic care in a friendly, informal and non-clinical environment to cancer patients.
More than 5000 patients, their carers, family members and friends have visited the centre over the years and to mark its third anniversary the centre held a party for guests including service users, donors, staff and volunteers to enjoy a cup of tea and a celebratory slice of birthday cake.
Lesley Aldridge, centre manager said: “We have had the privilege of supporting many people on their cancer journey, through our range of complementary therapies; group activities and workshops; including physical activity; creative workshops; drop-in coffee mornings and support groups.”
Staff and volunteers provide a welcoming atmosphere along with practical advice, emotional support or simply a listening ear, at any stage for those living with cancer. There are currently 52 volunteers at the centre. Lesley said: “The beating heart of the centre is the volunteer team, who give generously of their time and skills to the centre.”
“We are really grateful too to Macmillan who provide a lot of support and help, both financial and practical, and also to our many generous donors, some of whom have been impacted by cancer themselves.”
Sam Roche-Motuel, massage therapist who has been volunteering at the centre for over a year said: “The centre has become a very successful haven for everyone who visits and receives treatment there. I enjoy volunteering at the service and I hope I can continue to make it a pleasant visit to all the people that require my services.”
Richard Longrigg, Macmillan partnership quality lead: “Since it opened three years ago, the centre has provided essential support and is a welcoming space for people living with cancer, their family and carers.”
“It’s hugely important that this kind of support is available right from the point at which people find out they have cancer, through to treatment and into recovery and for those who continue to live with cancer. It has proven to be an invaluable resource and source of comfort for many people living in the area. And this is all due to the commitment and hard work of the staff and volunteers who make the centre what it is.”