‘My life has changed for the better’

The Harbour Cancer Support Centre is in the bus station in Gosport
The Harbour Cancer Support Centre is in the bus station in Gosport
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I want to start by saying a really big well done to Anna Stotard who is just 11 years old from Gosport, who at the end of last month rode her bike from her home in Gosport, to Hill Head and back again raising money for The Harbour Cancer Support Centre in Gosport.

To date Anna has raised £891.82. Her mum Louise said: ‘I never thought I would feel as proud as I did the day she was born, but this day I do.’

Harbour Cancer Support Centre is in the bus station in Gosport. They support anyone who is affected by cancer, whether it is the person fighting cancer or their loved ones wondering how they can support them, to people who have lost their loved ones.

Friday is a busy day at the centre due to their art therapy session held by volunteer Bill Slavin, 76, who is the art therapist at the self supporting centre, as well as a volunteer at The Advice Centre in Fareham Shopping Centre, guiding cancer sufferers to the Harbour Centre for Care council line and support.

Shirley Windle attends Bill’s art therapy sessions after she lost her husband two-and-a -alf years ago. She said: ‘I couldn’t draw a thing but now I come here every week and paint, I’ve met some lovely people and the company is wonderful.’

Karen Moore is 46 and attends the art sessions after losing her mum last year. She loves how the art makes her feel while she is painting and says it is very therapeutic.

Shirley and Karen’s work will be in the art exhibition at Trinity Church near the Harbour Cancer Support Centre this month.

Various pieces of artwork will be on display from now until April 29. Entry is free, donations are accepted and you can even buy the artwork to help support the centre.

Ellie Corp is only 28 and is running the day-to-day admin, booking appointments, welcoming new clients and happily accepting any donations. Ellie has worked at the centre for seven years.

Hazel Perrett, 72, is a volunteer befriender and chairman of trustees and has been for 15 years since before the centre received its charity status. Hazel is ‘very grateful to the church for allowing us to use their premises again for our art exhibition for the third year running.’

Tracy Gallaher is 50 and is a stage four cancer patient, who was suffering in silence in her home. She says: ‘Since finding out about the centre and coming along every week, my life has changed for the better – new friends, new support and a fabulous massage.’ Heather Tattersall is a member of the Federation of Holistic Therapists and volunteers on a Friday, and says ‘it’s a privilege to spend quality time with incredibly courageous people.’

Pop along on a Tuesday, Thursday or Friday morning and enjoy a coffee for a small donation or why not organise an event to raise money for them?