The first in a string of centres helping people affected by cancer around Norfolk and Waveney was launched last night.
As some of you may know, we opened the Big C Centre at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital in May 2006.
Now we’re opening a centre on Regent Street in Great Yarmouth, to allow people affected by cancer and their carers in the Yarmouth area to get help, support and advice without having to travel to Norwich.
This is the first initiative of its kind in East Anglia and is believed to be the first in the country.
The centre is the first in our Closer to You campaign, which brings help closer to home for people who are seriously ill, recovering from cancer or in remission. The centres will mean they and their carers do not have to travel miles to get the help and support they need. The centre will open to the public on 24 September.
Further centres are also planned for Kings Lynn, to open in spring 2013, and for Cromer later in the year.
Nikki Morris, head of clinical services, said: “This is an exciting new Big C initiative. We are bringing specialist health and wellbeing cancer services to the heart of the community. While these initiatives are not quantified, so it’s difficult to say for certain, we believe that Big C is the first organisation to run outreach centres like these from a retail outlet in the country.
“This centre links our high street retail outlets with support and information services in a way that is innovative and helps us to reach families that may not be able - or may not wish - to access services in an acute hospital environment.
“Other health service providers and voluntary organisations are very supportive of the concept and are showing a keen interest to see how the initiative develops over time.”
The new Big C Centre Great Yarmouth is on the floor above the current Big C shop. It has a reception area on the ground floor. It will give cancer patients somewhere to sit and rest, share concerns and problems, and access support, information and advice.
Services available at the centre will include counselling, family therapy, welfare advice, complementary therapies, information including “ask the nurse” sessions.
Healthy eating advice, including the best way to prepare food and cooking healthily, will be available in the centre’s new kitchen facilities and people will have the opportunity to prepare and sample food as well as learning about healthy eating.
The centre has a reception and consulting room on the ground floor and on the first floor there will be a second consultation room, a meeting room, the kitchen, a lounge area and a library stocked with information and resources.
It will be open between 9am to 4.30pm, the shop’s opening hours. No appointments are necessary. If you’d like more information or to speak to someone call 01493 855297 or check out the centre page