01:57PM, Wednesday 15 November 2017
A cancer support centre at Wexham Park Hospital which provides help to people ‘during the most difficult periods of their lives’ marked its five year anniversary this week.
Since its opening in 2012, the Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Centre has helped more than 6,000 cancer patients, families and carers.
With the number of people relying on the service rising year-on-year, 1,100 visitors walked through the door in 2016 with concerns ranging from money worries to treatment to emotional support.
Nicola Neale, who has managed the centre since it opened, said: “I am so proud that the centre has reached five years of helping local people with cancer.
“The team I work with, including Tricia (Thornhill), the information assistant, and our amazing volunteers, do a fantastic job supporting patients and their families during one of the most difficult times of their lives.
“I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has volunteered and supported us over the last five years, it would not have been possible without them.”
The centre was awarded a Macmillan Quality Environment Mark just last month, which assesses how well physical spaces provide care to people with cancer.
Steve Jackson, 56, was diagnosed with bladder cancer and was treated at Wexham Park Hospital. Steve said: “The consultant started the conversation with ‘I'm sorry Mr Jackson’ and from that point on I kind of stopped listening because I knew it wasn't going to be good news. It took a long time to sink in.
“But one of the most important things I did was go through that door to the Macmillan centre. That’s why I would personally like to thank Nicola and her team. I don't think people realise how far Macmillan reaches.
“Until you're diagnosed and you need those resources, like information on what happens after your treatment, you don't realise what support is out there.”
Sir Andrew Morris, CEO at Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Wexham Park Hospital, said: “The Macmillan cancer centre is one of the things that makes Wexham Park Hospital special.
“The extra support the staff and volunteers provide to our patients when they are going through some of the most difficult periods of their lives is impossible to overestimate.
“I’m delighted to take part in the fifth anniversary celebrations because we are so lucky to have this centre here.”
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