Nearer to Home Appeal Launches

Big C is today launching a major new appeal to build a state-of-the-art cancer support centre in the heart of the Norwich community.

The charity is asking the people of Norfolk to help raise £500,000 via its Nearer to Home Appeal to build a new Big C centre which will be situated in Dereham Road in Norwich.The new facility will complement the charity’s existing acute support centre in the grounds of the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH).

The new Norwich Big C centre will be pioneering in its vision to offer outstanding cancer care and support, closer to where people live in a welcoming environment away from the medical surroundings of the hospital. Some new features of the Big C centre will include a bright space for gentle exercise classes, a large workshop kitchen, 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 also designed the Big C centre in the NNUH grounds.

Dr Chris Bushby, Chief Executive at Big C said, “The importance of this new Big C cancer support centre cannot be overstated and we are passionate about delivering this project for Norwich and Norfolk. For the past 13 years our expert team at our NNUH centre has provided a bedrock of support, information, well-being therapies, tea, biscuits and a comforting ear to many thousands of Norfolk people affected by cancer, often when they are attending hospital appointments, or during treatment. In addition to this, there is a crucial need to now provide the same level of support for those experiencing cancer and all who surround them, nearer to where they live in the community.

“In addition to an upsurge in cancer diagnoses, cancer survival rates have doubled in the UK over the past 40 years since Big C was founded and there are many more people learning to cope with living with cancer. Big C centres are non-clinical by intention, a warm and homely environment offering a place of calm. Following treatment, or when not attending appointments, we know that many people want to access this kind of support away from a hospital site. Our vision for a new Big C cancer support centre in the heart of Norwich will make a tremendous difference to these people’s lives and with the help of our amazing supporters, we can’t wait to make it happen.”

The new Norwich centre will also help meet the rising demand for Big C’s support services. 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. In 2019 the centres saw a 24% increase in visits compared to the previous year between January and April.

Dr Bushby adds, “But this only happens thanks to the incredible local support we receive. None of us like to think about whether ourselves or our loved ones will need this kind of service, but it’s important to know it’s there if we do. Every single donation, no matter how small, is very gratefully received.”

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.

We can only do this with your support. 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 the Centre in early 2020.

Donate to Big C’s Nearer to Home Appeal by clicking ‘Donate’ above 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.

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