Former patient Neil Maltby opened the new East Surrey Macmillan Cancer Support Centre on Wednesday (27).
The Dorking resident and former council leader, who has been cared for by the specialist cancer team at East Surrey Hospital for the last three years, said: “I am honoured and delighted to have been asked to open this wonderful new facility.
“It has been a worrying time for me, my family and close friends, but the care, information and advice we have received from the hospital and nurses has been excellent. This new building will help everybody at East Surrey to continue to ‘be there’ for all those that will also be going through the same worrying times in the future.”
Michael Wilson, Trust chief executive, said: “This centre is the result of a fantastic partnership with Macmillan and with the support and expertise of The Olive Tree in Crawley.
It allows us to enhance the quality care our staff give to our cancer patients and their families and brings this care and support together in one place. This wonderful building also gives us the flexibility to develop the services we can offer by listening to our patients and their families.”
Hosted by journalist and presenter Nicholas Owen, the opening event comes just one year after the launch of a £1.3million building appeal. Rebecca Hawkins, Macmillan Cancer Support’s Senior Development Manager for the South East, said: “Macmillan Cancer Support believes that no-one should face cancer alone, and this new Information and Support Centre will go a long way to achieving this aim. The Centre will enable more people affected by cancer, their families and friends, to access a wide range of information and support services in one place and closer to their homes. Macmillan committed to raise £1.3 million towards the Centre and we are currently about £32,000 away from closing the appeal, so if anyone wishes to donate, there is still time.”
The centre will offer patients, family, friends and carers a range of services including:
• information and advice on coping with cancer and its treatment
• counselling services
• financial advice and support
• complementary therapies; including reflexology and reiki
• cancer support groups
• exercise programmes
• a range of classes to support those during and after treatment
Designed by experts and people affected by cancer, the centre will provide all-round support in a calm, non-clinical environment, with the simple goal of helping people affected by cancer to live their lives as well as possible.
It will also offer the very best in holistic care and support in the heart of the community; putting an end to the added stress on cancer patients who have to make at least a 20-mile round trip to the nearest cancer support centre in Crawley, or even further afield to Guildford or Purley.