PEOPLE living with cancer now have a place to go for support and therapy sessions.
Wessex Cancer Trust has opened its first support centre in High Street, Cosham behind its existing shop.
Centre manager Karen Semmens said: ‘It’s a relaxed environment, which is non-clinical as many sufferers do not want a place that they feel is sterile.
‘We wanted a place that felt a nice, quiet and safe space they could come in and talk.’
The centre, opened by Lord Mayor councillor Frank Jonas, will offer emotional, physical and financial support to cancer patients, their families and carers.
‘We have a befrienders area where users can chat in the lounge but we have other rooms where befrienders can take sufferer who want to discuss personal matters,’ said Karen.
As a part of the new centre, Wessex has included three treatment rooms for sufferers and their families to use.
‘It’s a place where we can offer treatments to help users feel nicer and increase their wellbeing,’ added Karen.
Complementary treatments will be provided by therapists.
One of those is Maria Groves, 26, Fareham.
She said: ‘I have completed an oncology massage course, which means that I am able to adapt the massage dependent on the needs of the client.
‘I like to think that we will be able to take them away from the hospital environment to relax and destress them.’
The treatments are available to family members of cancer sufferers.
Befriender Linda Dicks, 68, from Drayton said: ‘Cancer affects the whole family so if dad is going through cancer and mum is stressed then she can come in and get a lovely massage.’
Linda became a befriender for cancer sufferers after her mum Bessie Kyriacou passed away from the illness.
She said: ‘My mum would have loved this place
‘She would have used it because she used to stay in her house.’
The walk-in centre is open Monday to Thursday from 10am to 4pm.