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For those who do not know them, the Fountain Centre is a small independent charity situated within St Luke’s Cancer Centre at the Royal Surrey NHS Foundation Trust in Guildford.

This service is offered from diagnosis and beyond to cancer patients and their carers who live within Surrey, West Sussex, and Hampshire. Their support is provided through the provision of a Complementary Therapy Service, a Psychological Support Service including children and families, and an Information and Signposting Service.

Their Children and Family Counselling Service is unique in England, they believe. This team works with those cancer patients who have school age children or younger – currently about 20% of all patients. All of this support is offered with the help of over 100 volunteers.

During lockdown, the Fountain Centre had to close all their face-to-face services. Although their doors had to close, support continued for those who needed it in whatever way they could offer it. The Centre’s manager Anne Pike told us: “Covid offered us a chance to reassess the way we work both for our patients and together. During that time we re-developed our website, www.fountaincentre.org, to include many new video services and our emotional support team was able to maintain a full counselling and coaching service by phone, Zoom, Skype and Facetime. We have developed a range of resources for patients with on-going physical and psychological side-effects following their treatment”.

Since April, they have been opening up gradually to welcome those patients coming in for out-patient oncology clinics and radiotherapy, providing any therapies that current social distancing requirements allow. They are responding flexibly and imaginatively to the constant changes of ‘the new normal’.

The centre depends on the support of local companies and community groups, and generous individuals, to cover their annual costs of over £200k. As with many small charities, the pandemic has hit them hard and they have had to find new ways to raise money and support their patients and their families. They are very proud to have managed to continue to do this as they know the service is so vital to so many.

In the words of one of their volunteers: “The Fountain Centre is an amazing place, filled with love, compassion and hope. You are all incredible people and help so many people who are dealing with cancer. I’m proud to be involved.”

 

 

Should you wish to donate to the Fountain Centre, visit their website www.fountaincentre.org or donate by texting FOUNTAIN to 70085. Every little helps!

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