Brand new support centre for Isle of Wight cancer patients opens

RADIO Solent’s Tim Daykin will be visiting the Isle of Wight on Friday, 5 July, to open Wessex Cancer Trust’s brand new Cancer Support Centre in Lugley Street, Newport.  Tim, who is also the Trust’s Chaplain, will be at the centre at 2pm, as it opens its doors to visitors for the first time.

Cancer patients on the island are set to benefit from the centre which offers professional and confidential counselling, befriending and complementary therapies such as massage and reflexology, all free of charge to cancer patients, their families and carers.  Located in the heart of the community, this is the fifth such centre the Trust has opened, offering an oasis of calm and support to people who are coping with a very difficult time in their lives.

Sally Hall, Wessex Cancer Trust’s Chief Executive said:  “We deliberately locate our centres away from the clinical atmosphere of the hospital, so that calling in can be a pleasant experience.  There are over 200 types of cancer which have been identified so far, and the net is always expanding, with no one type being more or less important, or life-changing than another.  We believe that the Trust fills a “care gap” – something which was highlighted by a recent Department of Health report, which called for a total re-think on post-treatment care of cancer patients.  Our work already offers exactly that; a “recovery package” which deals with patients’ financial, mental and physical needs.  Through our long-term work with patients, their families and health professionals, we understand that sometimes, all that is needed is a cup of coffee and a chat.  Sometimes it is much more.  We believe centres such as this one provide a vital part in the overall treatment and care of those living with cancer.”

The Lugley Street centre will open initially open three days a week, 10am – 4pm, on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, although the charity is looking long-term at five days a week.  In order to do so, more volunteers are needed, especially befrienders, who offer a warm welcome and an emotional support to people and families living with cancer.  All staff are given thorough and on-going training in listening and responding skills and are fully aware of the need for complete confidentiality.

To become involved in this new venture, please either drop in and speak to the centre manager, Lynda Blenkinsop or contact Claire Tuckett, Head of Volunteer Development, Wessex Cancer Trust on 023 8067 2200 or e-mail volunteer@ wessexcancer.org.