Newton Stewart cancer drop-in centre opens

Thursday 21st April'Cancer Drop In Centre'Newton Stewart'Pictured: Centre Manager Una Wilson, Gill Wheldon Chairperson. Elma Walker and the volunteers
Thursday 21st April'Cancer Drop In Centre'Newton Stewart'Pictured: Centre Manager Una Wilson, Gill Wheldon Chairperson. Elma Walker and the volunteers

A NEW cancer drop-in centre for Newton Stewart has officially opened its doors.

Health professionals, members of a number of community groups and members of the public visited the open day for the centre, which, like its sister centre in Stranraer, will offer an information and support service for people with cancer as well as their friends and families.

The project was the brainchild of Elma Walker, a well known and highly respected retired District Nurse, Marie Curie Nurse and voluntary worker. She has been a long- time volunteer at the Stranraer Drop In Centre and identified the need for something similar in Newton Stewart. So following a public meeting, an enthusiastic steering committee was formed and the hunt for suitable premises began. They were delighted to be offered the use of her Lighter Life premises by Nan-Marie Henry, at 83, Victoria Street, which provided exactly the pleasant, calming atmosphere the committee was looking for. Nan Marie, who has joined the steering group, is an enthusiastic fund raiser with lots of good ideas.

Una Wilson from Creetown, will be in charge. Una is a nurse by profession, specialising in cancer care, and has eleven years’ experience as one of the Stranraer managers. She will be available for individual consultation in complete privacy. Una will be supported by a team of trained volunteers who offer coffee and, most importantly, a listening ear.

However, everyone involved is bound by a strict rule of confidentiality.

Other services offered by appointment include consultation with a clinical psychologist, CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) and Refloxology and Massage. Catherine Burns is a highly trained Reflexologist who has developed a range of popular and highly valued therapeutic massage treatments for her clients. Access is also provided to other agencies, for example the Citizens’ Advice Bureau, or help for those in need of financial support.

Initially the new centre will be funded by the Stranraer Cancer Drop in Centre, although it is expected that eventually the Newton Stewart Centre will be self financing with its own Management Committee. To begin the process the committee is very pleased to receive a generous “start up” grant from the Galloway Society of Glasgow.