We’re bringing free cancer wellbeing support to Andover from 13th September

We’re bringing free cancer wellbeing sessions to the Wellington Centre (Purple Oak Support) in Andover. If you’re affected by cancer in any way, you can simply drop in, have a cup of tea and chat with a qualified befriender about how you’re feeling. Sessions start on 13th September and will run every Tuesday between 11am and 2pm.

One in two people in the UK is affected by cancer and we’ve developed the new service to offer a safe space for those impacted by cancer and their loved ones. If the drop-in sessions prove popular, we’ll expand the service to include counselling and holistic therapies

We currently provide a range of wellbeing services at its our Support Centres in Chandler’s Ford, Bournemouth, Hythe and Newport on the Isle of Wight. Andover was identified as an area where there is a lack of cancer support and where more provision would benefit local people.

Starting with Andover, we plan to introduce cancer support to new communities across Hampshire, Dorset and the Isle of Wight to ensure we can reach more people who need it. Its long-term goal is that no-one should have to travel further than 15 miles to access cancer support.

Rachel Billsberry-Grass, Wessex Cancer Support’s CEO, says she understands taking the first steps to cancer support can be daunting:

“Living with cancer can be really tough and you may be experiencing thoughts and feelings you’re not used to. Maybe you’d like to have a chat with someone outside of your main circle of friends and family. Our drop-in sessions will be a really informal opportunity to come along and chat with a qualified befriender about how you’re feeling. Whatever you’re going through, we can help.”

The sessions will be held at the Wellington Centre, 3 Winchester Road, Andover, SP10 2EG. To support the new service, we’ve also launched a pop-up charity shop in Andover’s Chantry Centre.

If you can’t make the sessions but would like to find out more, visit www.wessexcancer.org.uk, call 023 8051 6576 or email careteam@wessexcancer.org.uk.

The sessions are being funded by proceeds from the auction of Banksy’s artwork, Game Changer. The painting was gifted to Southampton Hospitals Charity in May 2020 (during the height of the Covid Pandemic), and the funds are being distributed throughout the UK to benefit a wider community of healthcare providers and charities across the UK that work to enhance the care and treatment provided by the NHS.