CancerCare welcomed 13 clients into its new centre in Northumberland Street on Wednesday. The centre will provide free professional counselling and complementary therapies for people from the town.
Earlier this year the charity signed a three-year lease on the building and has transformed it with new counselling and specialist therapy facilities and a dedicated children’s play therapy room.
The initial set up and running costs of the centre have been given a boost thanks to Nationwide Building Society, which donated £9,000 to help pay for new equipment and a number of aromatherapy massage sessions.
The grant was secured by Helen Stonell, who is one of building society’s managers and a former CancerCare client.
CancerCare helped Helen, who is from Morecambe, and her family following her breast cancer diagnosis around three years ago.
She received specialist massage therapy to help her with the lymphedema she experienced as a result of her treatment, and her husband Neil also accessed support services.
This is the second round of CancerCare funding Helen has secured from her employers following the £7,700 donation she successfully applied for last year and which helped pay for the charity’s response to the Covid pandemic.
Helen said: “I have worked really closely with the Cancercare after using the services at Slynedales a few years ago.
"When the opportunity to apply for the grant again came up again, I jumped at the chance. Local charites have been hit by the pandemic and anything we can do to support and help them continue their valuable work in the local communities is so important.
“This service is much needed in Morecambe as when I used the services myself, I had to travel across to Slynedales. I feel that now they have a centre in Morecambe that more of the community will benefit from using the services they offer.
"Being able to secure these grants for Cancercare has been my way of giving them something back for everything they did to support myself and my husband during a difficult time in our lives.”
CancerCare chief executive Alison Stainthorpe said: “We can’t thank Helen and Nationwide enough for their support over the last 12 months.
"It has been a difficult year for charities, but we were determined to get our new Morecambe centre up and running so we could begin helping the people of the town at a time when they need support even more. This latest grant has helped enormously.”
Around 93 per cent of the money CancerCare needs comes via public donations.