You may have noticed, if you have visited Colchester Hospital recently, a great deal of building work going on. The front of the hospital, outpatients and A&E is being revamped¬† but the Colchester & Ipswich Hospitals Charity (supported by donations from local people) is paying for the new building going up beside the lake. This is the Cancer Wellbeing Centre. As a cancer patient you may need or want support after medical treatment has been ‘completed’. You may be a survivor, or living with cancer – either way you do not want to return to the main hospital buildings – too many memories. This building is going to be the place to go for information, advice and complementary treatments.

The purpose of the Wellbeing Centre is to provide vital support in a less clinical, welcoming, relaxing and calm environment, for local people diagnosed with cancer, their families and carers including: specialist information advice and quality resources, welfare benefits advice, counselling services, complementary therapies and physical activity services, hair and skincare advice, practical support and dietary advice and a venue for self help and support groups.

I visited the Cancer Wellbeing Centre today and had a look around. It is a beautiful building still in need of finishing Рthe patio needs to be enlarged, fences and planting need to happen, there needs to be some art on the walls (got plans for that) but there is a lovely, relaxed and calm atmosphere and cancer patients and their families are using it Рand benefitting from it already.  People who have just had their diagnosis Рand need advice on how to tell their family, or children; patients who need to gather their thoughts before a consultation; patients receiving complementary therapies Рthe Cancer Wellbeing Centre is a warm and welcoming space.