As some of you may know, I’ve worked for Big C on and off for the last few years as one of their freelance comms consultants. They are a wonderful cancer charity we have here in Norfolk and I can’t rave about their good work enough.
They are a godsend here to the folks of Norfolk.
You see, around 1,100 people every year are diagnosed with cancer in the Norwich area. This comprises 14% of the 8,400 people that are diagnosed with cancer each year in Norfolk and Waveney.
In 2018, Big C centres were visited 25, 461 times!
Our Experience of Big C
In recent months, our family has had first-hand experience of their services. My Mum had a cancer diagnosis last autumn and greatly benefited from the free services offered at their centre. Before working for the Big C I had no idea there were so many free services, not only for the person with the diagnosis but for their family too.
The centre we used was at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH), which has been operating for 13 years now. The self-contained centre separate to the hospital yet directly adjacent to East Wing, is a solice for many. There, the team offer support, information, wellbeing therapies, tea, biscuits and a comforting ear to many thousands of Norfolk people affected by cancer, often like my own Mum, people pop when they are attending hospital appointments, or during treatment.
Not only did my Mum benefit from reflexology, practical advice, relaxation drop-ins and counselling, but Dad enjoyed free massages too.
But probably the thing we both just loved about Big C?
Being around others going through the same thing + the calm, welcoming drop-in space where you can pop in for a chat or just a cup of tea. A safe, supportive space is so important when you’re going through a life crisis.
Why the idea behind Big C Centres work so well!
The great thing about the Big C centres is that they are non-clinical by intention. They offer a warm and homely environment, a place of calm. Following treatment, or when not attending appointments, Big C undersrtand that many people want to access this kind of support away from a hospital site.
In 2019, the centres saw a 24% increase in visits compared to the previous year between January and April. So there’s a big demand for this kind of support and environment.
New Wellbeing Sanctuary in Norwich
Recently Big C launched their Nearer to Home Appeal so that they can open a brand new facility on Dereham Road, Norwich. They’re looking to raise £500,000!
The new Norwich Big C centre will offer cancer care and support, closer to where people live in a welcoming environment away from the medical surroundings of the hospital. Isn’t that great?
Some new features of the Big C centre will include a bright space for gentle exercise classes, a large workshop kitchen to enable food and nutrition demonstrations, a light and calm central seating area, private rooms for one-to-one counselling and a sensory wellbeing garden. The centre is being built to an innovative design by Norwich based architects and heritage experts, Purcell, who designed the Big C centre in the NNUH grounds.
I love the way that Big C has wellbeing in the design and creation of the new Norwich centre primarily, as well as throughout their general service provision.
It’s so important to seek further support in managing the impact of cancer emotionally and physically. They’re great at considering the whole person, rather than the cancer itself.
Donate to Big C’s Nearer to Home Appeal online at nearertohome.co.uk or donate £10 by texting BIGC to 70191. Alternatively, cheques made payable to Big C (Ref. Nearer to Home) can be sent to: Big C, Centrum, Norwich Research Park, Colney Lane, Norwich, N74 7UG
Every pound donated to the appeal will go directly to the build and development of this vital new centre to support local people, with the aim to open in early 2020.
To learn more about the work Big C does to improve the lives of those affected by cancer in Norfolk and Waveney, please visit www.big-c.co.uk