BREAST cancer patients will be handed a massive boost to their fight when a brand new Breast Cancer Haven support centre opens its doors in Solihull later this year.
Coventry-based Chiel Construction has now started renovating the former three-storey Edwardian guest house in Solihull to transform the property into a true ‘home from home’ for those accessing the charity’s one-to-one support programme.
Facilities at the centre – due to open later this year and offering support for long-term and newly diagnosed patients – will include specialist therapy rooms where service users, and their families, can gain access to personalised, specialist care including counselling, acupuncture and massage as well as nutritional advice.
The centre will also offer drop-ins, welfare and money guidance, support groups and Welcome Days, meditation and exercise classes, emotional freedom technique sessions, and other group activities.
Breast Cancer Haven’s CEO, Pamela Healy, OBE said: “With 2,500 people living within a 35-mile radius of Solihull told every year that they have breast cancer – and no similar service currently available locally – we need to ensure that more people can benefit from our programme.
“Evidence shows that our service is often life changing for people who are going through the toughest time of their lives.
“We anticipate that the new centre will provide over 6,670 hours of free therapies to around 750 people with breast cancer in its first year alone.”
As well as marking a significant milestone in terms of renovations, the charity has recently made some key staffing appointments.
The recently appointed clinical lead for Breast Cancer Haven, West Midlands is Sarah Moss.
Sarah will take on the Breast Cancer Haven Manager role at the new centre, joining following 20-years of service with the NHS.
She brings with her over 10 years’ experience in cancer research, including several years as a breast care nurse.
Sarah – along with Fundraising Manager, Amanda Elliott, who’s been in post since 2016 – is supported by a network of committee members including BBC Midlands Today presenter, Mary Rhodes, who has taken the position of Fundraising Committee Chair.
The committee also includes women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer.
One such member, Veronica Morgan, wishes Breast Cancer Haven West Midlands had been there when she was suffering from the side effects of the disease.
She said: “This personalised support was missing when I was going through a very difficult time from my breast cancer diagnosis and throughout my treatments.
“However, I am very pleased that tailored breast cancer support will be available in the West Midlands and delivered by professionals. The diagnosis of breast cancer for me brought psychological turmoil and upset. I believe the facilities provided by the Breast Cancer Haven will change your thought process to ‘TRY ME’ and not ‘WHY ME?’ Let’s get our life back and try Breast Cancer Haven West Midlands.”
Whilst the purchase, refurbishment and redevelopment of the Breast Cancer Haven’s sixth regional centre is fully funded – thanks to generous government funding of £2.5 million – this is only the start.
Breast Cancer Haven West Midlands now needs to raise more than £600,000 annually to ensure the centre can deliver and sustain its running costs.
Anyone – including trusts, foundations, companies and individuals – who would like to get involved with the future of the Breast Cancer Haven, West Midlands should contact Amanda Elliott, Fundraising Manager on 07497 354428 or email [email protected] You can also donate by texting ‘HAVN17 £5’ to 70070.
For more information about Breast Cancer Haven, visit www.breastcancerhaven.org.uk