CancerCare, a local charity which supports people affected by cancer, has a new centre in Barrow and is going from strength to strength.
Based at their new centre on Duke Street, CancerCare is an independent charity dedicated to helping families cope with cancer and other life limiting conditions.
Delivered by qualified and highly experienced staff, CancerCare's wide range of free professional therapy services are designed to help people come to terms with and manage the challenges of a serious health condition.
Therapies include counselling, hypnotherapy, the Alexander Technique, aromatherapy massage, group activities, support groups and a Children and Young People's Service.
With 35 years of history in North Lancashire and South Cumbria, CancerCare also has centres in Kendal and Lancaster.
Rachel Minshull, Barrow and Furness Development Officer, said: "We have been constantly busy and I've been amazed at how quickly CancerCare has taken off in Barrow and Furness.
"We had been offering services at Furness General Hospital for 17 years so we were delighted to open a permanent base in the town.
"We conducted a research project and our report showed that more cancer support services were needed in Barrow. That's why the decision was made to open a centre."
Rachel said CancerCare had expected to see around 65 people in the first year in Barrow but it was more than double that amount.
She said: "I'm so proud of the work that we are doing here; that we are able to help all of these people who didn't have anywhere like this to go before.
"One client told me if it wasn't for CancerCare she didn't know where she would be right now. She had been feeling lost and didn't know what to do.
"When you find out you have cancer, you have all these appointments thrust upon you. You don't always have time or the opportunity to digest the information. CancerCare is somewhere that can enable you to do that."
The service in Barrow and across the Furness Peninsula offers free therapies to people facing cancer and their friends and family.
Rachel explained: "Cancer affects so many people in your life. It can affect your family, your peers and your wider circle of friends.
"There might be certain things you don't want to say to your family and friends because they're going through it too. Everyone needs a safe environment to work out what they need to do.
"We already have accessible gym sessions and we are starting up various support groups including sports, dance, jewellery making, Pilates, relaxation and singing."
Members of the community are also being encouraged to hold events and do fundraising. Events in Barrow over the last 12 months have included a Fire and Ice Walk at Barrow Raiders, a Piel Island Walk, a free concert by Voce and a Clubbercise 'Clubbing for Cancer' event at The Forum.
Neil Townsend, chief executive of CancerCare, said: "I feel utter pride in how our charity has gone about developing this service with the community; following up, securing funding and working towards a sustainable model."
Stacey Smith, an Aromatherapist for CancerCare in Barrow and Ulverston, said: "The way CancerCare has grown in Barrow over the last year has been incredible.
"The therapies we offer really do help people at the hardest times of their life and to be able to be part of their journey is a privilege.
"This area has needed a service like this for a long time and I think the way the local community has got behind us and supported us has really given us a warm welcome. I'm excited about Cancercare's future in Barrow and about the amount of people we will be helping."
CancerCare can be contacted for support at www.cancercare.org.uk,
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