ESSEX: Cancer charity's support for patients and families at Broomfield Hospital

PUBLISHED: 11:59 26 February 2010 | UPDATED: 07:33 30 May 2010

Picture: NICK THOMPSON

Picture: NICK THOMPSON

CANCER patients and their families can benefit from a healing, and helping, hand free of charge thanks to an initiative launched by the Helen Rollason Cancer Charity. People undergoing often gruelling and painful treatments such as Chemotherapy or Radioth

CANCER patients and their families can benefit from a healing, and helping, hand free of charge thanks to an initiative launched by the Helen Rollason Cancer Charity.

People undergoing often gruelling and painful treatments such as Chemotherapy or Radiotherapy now have a place for relaxation and rest at Broomfield Hospital, which is just south of Uttlesford.

Reflexology, aromatherapy and massage are all available at a converted flat inside the hospital grounds which has become a haven for patients and their families who describe it as a "home from home."

Cancer support centre therapist Linda Game said: "This is such a relaxing place to be, it is nothing like being in hospital which is something that is really welcomed. We always get comments about how friendly and peaceful the place is."

Patients and their close family members can book appointments at the centre whenever they choose or just drop in; currently it is only open Wednesday and Thursday, 9.30am to 4.30pm, but if demand increases hours may be increased as a result.

The support centres are for patients with all types of cancer at all stages: whether newly diagnosed, or longer term, throughout treatment and after treatment is completed.

The centre in Essex also provides manual lymph drainage, a service rarely available on the NHS, and counselling and support groups are available.

Mrs Game, who has 10 years of therapy experience, added: "We provide a place for people to come and just be themselves, free from the burdens of cancer. Our community room in the house is a good place for people to come and talk to each other about all things apart from their own illness.

"But even if people just want some quiet time after a particularly harsh but necessary treatment, they can get that here as well."

The centre has been open since November 2009 and kind donations have help its refurbishment from an old block of doctors flats. One donation came from Chelmsford firefighter Pete Walker who raised £600 by swimming the English Channel.

The charity has also recently opened a new support centre in Sawbridgeworth.

To find out more about the centres or to book an appointment visit www.helenrollason.org.uk or call 07943 056995.

Helen Rollason Cancer Support Centres' manager Lorna Ellis, administrator Laura Laws and therapist Linda Game with firefighter Pete Walker from Chelmsford Fire Station

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