Ayrshire Cancer Support

Laura Brown and Louise Graham from Ayrshire Cancer Support were the guest speakers at Ayr Rotary on Tuesday evening. Louise explained the practical workings of the charity and how Laura will talk about the exciting plans for the new premises, formally St Andrews Hotel, on Prestwick Road, Ayr. Since 1982 they have been providing emotional and practical support throughout Ayrshire, currently with 18 permanent staff and over 100 volunteers, mostly volunteer drivers. However, because of COVID, drivers can now only transport one patient at a time, mainly to the Beatson in Glasgow, whereas three patients could have been taken prior to the pandemic. The team provide around 12,000 free patient journeys every year – making sure patients get to hospital to receive their treatment. Louise added that empowerment of those in need of support is now a significant focus of the charity’s work which enables people to cope better by being helped with diet, exercises and especially being listened to during discussion sessions.

Louise Graham

Louise Graham

Laura gave her audience an insight to the proposed new facilities planned. The centre will play host to counselling and therapeutic rooms, a large drop-in centre, purposed spaces for children and young people’s cancer support services, space to facilitate support groups as well as landscaped gardens and off-road parking. Convenient transport links by bus and train also serve the new centre.

This is where Ayrshire Cancer Support, and the team of support specialists, health professionals and volunteers will do everything they can to ensure an end to isolation for cancer patients and their families. The support gives people with cancer the best possible chance of survival by providing free hospital transport, free professional counselling, cancer specific information and advice and a range of complementary therapies. They are literally a life-line to many people affected by cancer in Ayrshire

Laura Brown

The charity identified the need for bigger premises in South Ayrshire which could also accommodate cancer support services for children and young people, including play therapies.

They sold their centre in Wellington Square Ayr and had begun to raise funds to purchase a new centre before the pandemic . That milestone has now been reached and the race is on to convert the property for use by future generations, The charity is now appealing for locals to help ‘make it happen’, by helping to raise funds to       develop the building.

Paul Williams gave a worthy vote of thanks to our two passionate and enthusiastic guests.