Macmillan Cancer Support opened its £6 million Brighton cancer to the public this morning (Monday 7 November).
The charity held a cake-cutting ceremony to mark the official opening of the Macmillan Horizon Centre in Bristol Gate, Brighton, across the road from the Royal Sussex County Hospital.
Local supporter and former cancer patient Sara Cutting cut the cake along with representatives from Macmillan, Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust (BSUH) and the Sussex Cancer Fund.
The Macmillan Horizon Centre is a partnership between Macmillan, BSUH, which runs the Royal Sussex, and the Sussex Cancer Fund.
The first patient drop-in sessions were held at the centre and visitors were invited on a tour of the building and given the chance to meet staff and volunteers.
Macmillan said: “The cancer will offer vital all-round support for local people living with or beyond cancer, their families and carers.
“This includes specialist information advice and quality resources, welfare benefits advice, counselling and psychological therapies, complementary therapies and physical activity support, hair and wig, skincare and body image advice, practical support and dietary advice.
“As well as the café, there will also be spaces for families, carers and support groups to meet.
“The centre will link up existing information and support across Sussex – such as libraries, support groups and other current Macmillan services – to ensure people across the county don’t have to face cancer alone.
“Anyone affected by cancer is encouraged to call into the centre so they can see what support services are on offer.”
Centre manager Geoff Brown said: “It’s fantastic that the centre is now open. We have a warm and friendly environment here where anyone affected by cancer can seek the support they need.
“We are opposite the Sussex Cancer Centre at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton where a lot of patients receive their expert clinical treatment.
“Patients can literally walk across the road and get support at the right time, whether that’s at the point of diagnosis, as their treatment is ongoing or when they visit for follow-up appointments.
“I have been very involved in the development of the Macmillan Horizon Centre, in particular liaising with people affected by cancer to make sure the services at the centre properly reflect their needs.
“I am very excited that the centre is now open and look forward to being able to provide vital support to people affected by cancer.”
Helene Poursain, Macmillan regional fundraising manager, said: “It is thanks to the amazing people of Sussex for their amazing support that this centre is now open.
“They raised £3.7 million and supporters have done some incredible things, from running marathons, launching social media campaigns to holding fundraising balls.
“We hope the people of Sussex will continue to support us and keep the momentum going.”
Sara Cutting, who has raised thousands of pounds for Macmillan, added: “This centre really is something special and fantastic that it is just across the road from the hospital. You come over the road from a clinical setting and it feels like a huge supportive warm hug.”
David Bloomfield, incoming chair at the Sussex Cancer Fund and clinical oncologist at BSUH, added: “The Horizon Centre can complement the clinical work we do at BSUH and support the complex emotional needs of the patients and their loved ones.
“George Deutsch, former Sussex Cancer Fund chair and the longest-serving NHS consultant, had the inspiration for the centre – and it is wonderful his idea has been achieved.”
For more information, visit www.macmillan.org.uk/horizoncentre.
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