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A day in the life of...

A day in the life of our King's Lynn Centre Manager

So it’s 8.45am and I’m pottering about in the Centre, emptying the dishwasher, checking the refreshment supplies, opening the blinds to let the morning sun into the rooms, and pondering as to who will come into the Centre today. The thing is you just never know….and that’s part of why I love our Centres. 

I don’t have too long to think about it as in comes our smiley volunteer for today keen to tell me about what her mischievous dog has been up to. She also shows me the soft toy brought today for the cheeky thing, he gets spoilt every week with a new toy from the charity shop!

After our quick catch up, in walks the days first visitor, I am so pleased to see a lady I first met 6 months earlier, the change in her is palpable and wonderful to see. She has a smile on her face and looks stronger. She has come to tell us how much better she is feeling and that she has completed all her treatment. I feel so privileged to see people after their treatment when they are regaining their strength and feeling more like themselves. After a nice cup of tea and a chat about how she can manage her fatigue off she goes

This gives me chance to catch up on emails, then the phone rings with a referral from the hospital for our complementary therapy service. The complementary therapy is so popular as it allows people to have some ‘Me’ time and relax. Sian our therapist at King’s Lynn creates a really cosy and safe environment which really enriches the whole experience, whether it be reflexology, massage or Reiki.

We then have a new visitor who has just had a rare cancer diagnosis, they just want to chat about the shock of the diagnosis and how they feel. The volunteer makes a fresh pot of coffee and we allow them the space to talk about it, after a while they feel a little better. We ensure they have the centre information including opening hours and number, as they can come in whenever they need to or call us. They share that it is reassuring to know the Centre is here.

The phone rings again with someone needing directions to the centre, although I know this doesn’t mean they will come today. Often stepping through the door for the first time can be daunting for some people, and saying you need support harder still, which is why in our Big C Centres we create a welcoming and relaxing space - to help people feel at home and at ease.

We then have some gentlemen come in for the ‘Kingsmen’ Prostate Cancer Support Group, who use our meeting room once a month. Occasionally I get invited in for part of the meeting but not today, I don’t mind as this leaves me free to speak with the wives and carers of those in the group, who seem to be making friends with each other too, creating another natural support network. 

In the afternoon we welcome in a family who had seen about us in the local newspaper. The mother was diagnosed a few months ago and is in the middle of her treatment, she is concerned about her husband and son who she has brought with her. She knows they are worried about her but wants them to talk about things and to try and worry less. Together we all talk about how Mum was before cancer- she was a very fit lady who took charge and looked after the rest of the family. We then moved onto what had changed for them all- this included feelings of losing independence, added responsibilities and anger. 

The son was a similar age to myself so I asked if he would like to leave his parents alone for a while and then we could chat, he welcomed this. He was struggling with why his mum had cancer, why her? He also felt like cancer had taken over their lives, we spoke for half an hour. I told him about the services we offer at the centre and encouraged him to come again for a chat. We then re-joined his parents and had some light hearted conversation about his antics as a young child, much to his unease!

I then email a man back who would like to come and volunteer in the centre,  I’ll keep my fingers crossed, good volunteers are in high demand, and we love welcoming volunteers into the team here at King's Lynn.

My lovely volunteers heads home signalling the end of another day at the centre.

"…do I know what to expect tomorrow? No, but I do know that all of us at King’s Lynn will be supporting someone, whether it be by providing information, referring them to one of our services, making them a cup of tea or just listening to what is on their mind..."

And that ‘s why I love this place and the amazing people that haven’t even walked through the door yet! 

Tonia King
King's Lynn Centre Manager

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