Big demand for cancer support service

Claire Byrne and Anna Brennan outside the New Cara Cancer Support CEntre in Williamsons Place
The volunteers at Dundalk’s first cancer support centre say that the demand for the service has been phenomenal.

The volunteers at Dundalk’s first cancer support centre say that the demand for the service has been phenomenal.

The Cara Cancer Support Centre is located in the former Sinn Fein offices at Williamson Place, Dundalk, just off Park Street.

The Cara committee and a number of volunteers have revamped the premises and transformed it into a paradise of relaxation.

Since Cara opened in May, hundreds of people have called to the centre.

“The response from the public has been overwhelming,” said Anna Brennan, a member of the Cara committee.

“We didn’t expect the service to be so busy. The demand has been phenomenal.

“If local people wanted a similar service, the only option available would have been to travel to Drogheda.

“If you have cancer or receiving treatment, the last thing you want to do is drive or get the bus to Drogheda.

“Now the public have the option to come to Cara for support services.”

A wide range of services is offered at Cara, including wig and prosthetic demonstrations and a drop in centre for a cup of tea and a chat.

There are also reflexology, acupuncture, meditation and yoga classes along with counselling services all run by volunteers.

A weekly schedule of activities and supports is in place.

“We couldn’t be happier,” said Anna, “There is so many people calling in for a chat and looking for information.

“This centre was so badly needed in Dundalk. Now we have it, we encourage the public to come in for a chat.

“The centre is not only for cancer patients.

It is for the survivors and also for the families of those affected by cancer.

Cara is a registered charity and is run on a volunteer basis with no paid staff.

A rota operates every week and the dedicated volunteers create a relaxing environment.

Cara opens on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10am to 4pm.

It also opens on Wednesday evenings from 7pm to 9pm.

Cara can be contacted on 042-9339383 or 087-3955335.

Cara Cancer support centres give support to people living with cancer.

They want to provide a supportive environment where patients and family members can come to find solace and avail of the experience of cancer survivors. They offer a range of holistic therapies; pamper days, a number of workshops for men and women along with welfare information, counselling, to name but a few of their services.