New £3m cancer care centre for North Lincs
6 July 2011
A £3 million fund-raising appeal is being launched to build an innovative new home for a North Lincolnshire cancer care charity which will allow it to vastly improve its services.
The Odyssey Cancer Caring Centre, at Barton upon Humber, has provided a range of free complementary therapies for hundreds of cancer patients and their carers for 14 years, with the aim of helping their whole well-being.
But demand means the unique project, mostly funded by profits from a nearby country hotel, has outgrown its current premises. Plans have been drawn up for an ecologically built centre designed to encourage patients’ recovery and have as little impact as possible on the tranquil setting.
The project’s co-founders, Daisa Morgan, husband Richard, and Tom Hazeldine, are hoping that people on both sides of the Humber will back the New Odyssey Cancer Care Project and help them turn a long-held vision into a reality.
Daisa, Richard and Tom set up the Odyssey Centre in 1997, not long after they bought and renovated the Reeds Country Hotel at nearby Westfield Lakes, on the south bank of the Humber. It was prompted by Daisa’s frustration about the limited support available when she cared for her mum Margaret Harrison, who sadly died in 1982 from Mesathelioma, a rare form of lung cancer.
The centre’s running costs have mostly been funded through the hotel, which is run as a social enterprise and is also part of the Best Western chain. People who have received care at the centre have also made donations.
After three years in a small cottage near the hotel, the centre moved to Nightingale House, in Westfield Road. Since then more than 500 clients with various types of cancer have benefited from natural therapies which work alongside conventional cancer treatments like chemotherapy and radiotherapy. In addition, almost 300 carers have also used the centre’s services. The centre has provided a total of 17,000 treatments since it opened.
Complementary therapies offered include aromatherapy, body massage, reflexology, visualisation techniques and Reiki, the practice of balancing mind, body and spirit by using ‘natural life force energy’. Daisa, a Reiki Master, also runs the Lakeside Reiki Centre adjacent to the hotel.
Daisa said: “The Odyssey Centre provides a relaxed haven where clients can discuss their experiences of cancer on all levels - physically, spiritually, and emotionally. Our services have also been available to almost 300 primary carers as a cancer diagnosis usually involves the whole family and, in addition, we offer support to health professionals.
“We have a holistic approach whether it is in the form of hands-on therapies, or listening and providing information and, if appropriate, we liaise with family doctors, nurses or oncologists.
“In the beginning, we never anticipated that our services would be in such demand. People have been referred or come to us from a radius of 60-miles. It’s become clear that we need more rooms and therapists to meet local need and for the centre to be everything we’ve worked towards.
“An ecologically designed building that reflects a new approach to holistic health by the very nature of how it is built and the materials used to create it are as important to us as the services we provide.”
The existing centre, leased from a private owner, consists of three therapy rooms and a lounge. Facilities planned for the new building include ten therapy rooms, a children’s area, small café and shop selling local produce and a library with IT facilities.
The project will be able to expand all of its support and ‘drop-in’ services as well as provide additional therapies such as art and music therapies, acupuncture and Pilates. The centre will also offer a treatment room for use by doctors, nurses and other medical staff.
However the development, on a field next to the current building with views out towards the Humber Bridge, will retain the same ‘at home’ feel as the current location. As well as a sensory garden, there will a plot where people can learn how to grow organic fruit and vegetables.
The proposal will be submitted to planners in the next few months. Subject to approval, building work is expected to start on the scheme later this year and be completed before the end of 2012.
A series of fund-raising events are being arranged to raise funds for the new centre and the charity wants to hear from anyone who can help in any way. For further information about the appeal, email Jo Lomax at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01652 633150 or 07807671302. Alternatively, email Daisa Morgan on email@example.com or call 01652 633150 or 01652 661881 or 07711 631223.
Notes to News Editors:
Daisa can be contacted for further interviews as above.
The Best Western Reeds Country Hotel is an AA three star-rated hotel, with 26 en-suite bedrooms, a dry spa, conference and banqueting facilities, situated between two freshwater lakes on the south bank of the River Humber at Barton upon Humber. For more information visit www.reedscountryhotel.co.uk
The Lakeside Reiki Centre practises and teaches the Usui Shiki Ryoho System of Natural Healing. Daisa Morgan has been a Reiki Master since 1998 and is a member of the Reiki Association. For more information visit www.lakesidereikicentre.co.uk or www.daisamorgan.com