5 January 2012
The support centre will be horseshoe shaped to achieve the best views and use of space
The project to build the new Sussex Macmillan Cancer Support Centre took a step forward this week when planning permission was granted.
Plans for the unique new centre were approved by Brighton and Hove City Council on 13 October 2011.
Designed by experts with input from people affected by cancer, the centre will be the first of its kind in Sussex to offer all round support in a calm, friendly and welcoming environment. It will offer specialist cancer advice and information; financial advice; counselling services; complementary therapies; a hair and wig salon; refreshment lounge and dietary advice; and be a base for outreach services across the county.
Macmillan has commissioned David Morley Architects to design the centre, which will have a relaxing and ‘non medical’ atmosphere. The building, which will stand on a natural terrace, has a ‘horseshoe’ shaped layout – to achieve the best views and relationships between spaces. It will include a shielded courtyard as a sanctuary for visitors as well as small, quiet, family and therapy rooms, larger meeting space for groups and office space for staff.
Oesophagal cancer patient Verena Smith, 66, from Brighton, who has also lost her husband and brother to cancer, says: 'As a recovering cancer patient, a drop-in centre is absolutely essential. You need advice on recovery symptoms and help with diet and exercise, as well as a social place where patients can exchange views. There’s a severe lack of after care in Sussex where you receive amazing treatment but, after discharge, you’re left on your own.'
Breast cancer patient Maggie Clune, 48, from Brighton, adds: 'There are so many different aspects of your cancer journey; for example, I didn’t feel that I could interrupt the doctors to ask them about wigs or the bank not extending my overdraft to help me cope with the cost of cancer – but you need answers. You have to remember that everyone will be affected by cancer at some point in their lives.'
It is anticipated that the support centre will be open to the public at the end of 2013.
To help Macmillan raise £3.7m for the support centre or get involved in its development, please call us on 01273 746601.