Breast Cancer Haven to open new Solihull support centre in 2017 - The Solihull Observer

Breast Cancer Haven to open new Solihull support centre in 2017

Solihull Editorial 23rd Nov, 2016   0

THOUSANDS of people living with breast cancer in the West Midlands are set to benefit from a vital new support centre due to open in Solihull next year.

National support charity Breast Cancer Haven has secured a three-storey Edwardian property in the borough to provide free support to breast cancer patients and their families.

The new centre, which is expected to open in October 2017, will offer services not available under the NHS for free of charge – including vital one-to-one support and advice.

Offering drop-ins, welfare and money guidance, support groups, a variety of workshops, meditation and exercise group classes, demand for the centre has been made clear by specialists living the West Midlands.

However, more than £600,000 must be raised annually to ensure the centre will be able to deliver and sustain its running costs – something which the charity believes can be done with the backing of the local community.

Although a vital £2.5million cash injection was provided from the government to fund the purchase, refurbishment and redevelopment of the property, those behind the centre admit this is just the start.

Speaking to The Observer, Hannah Daws – Breast Cancer Haven’s director of communications and fundraising – said Solihull offers the ideal location for a new centre due to its accessibility.

She added: “We can offer something the NHS can’t and that’s emotional and physical support to help those affected and their families.

“We offer 12 hours of free therapy designed for individual needs and this all comes free of charge – though we rely on the donations of our generous fundraisers. Our aim is to ultimately help as many people as possible.”

Once open, the centre will be able to treat and look after 60 new people each month in addition to the people coming back for other treatments.

To be successful, Hannah says the charity needs to let people know who they are and what they do.

She said: “Our main challenge for us is that people don’t know who we are so we need to boost awareness, target people who can fund us and underline we are not an arm of the NHS.

“It’s an expensive programme as we do not host a volunteer workforce.

“Although the number of people being diagnosed with breast cancer is on the rise, people are living longer so there is hope.

“Everyone is different and our one to one programme is individually created to suit that person.

“So many times we see people arrive at one of our centre’s looking a certain way and leaving a changed person, it’s so good to see.”

Health professionals in the region have already welcomed the news that a new Breast Cancer Haven centre is to be opened in the borough.

Mr Bala, general surgeon at the Heart of England Foundation NHS Trust, said Breast Cancer Haven will be able to provide valuable additional support for people affected by breast cancer.

He added: “The centre will help people in coping with the effects of both diagnosis and treatments while helping individuals adjust to life after their hospital care is complete.

“We look forward to welcoming the service into our area and being able to signpost and refer patients to access this extra support.”

Breast Cancer Haven’s CEO, Pamela Healy OBE, added: “We know that we have a service that is so often life-changing for people who are going through the toughest time of their lives.

“2,500 living within a 35mile radius of Solihull are told every year that they have breast cancer.

“We need to ensure that more people can benefit from our vital support services.”

Visit for further information about the charity and how to fundraise.

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