Solas celebrating 10 year milestone – Friday 26th February 2021
The Solas Cancer Support Centre in Williamstown is celebrating a milestone on Friday 26th February – this was the first day that clients were welcomed into the new Centre 10 years ago.
Lorraine Hurley, from Waterford City, clearly remembers this day having availed of services in the original Centre before the new Centre opened. Lorraine was diagnosed at 14 with a rare type of bone cancer in March 2010 – ‘My first time to the Solas Centre in Williamstown was so different from the house I had visited in Earlscourt. As soon as you come in the door, you can feel how calm, open, and welcoming a place it is. You’re always greeted by a kind smiling face and offered a cup of tea. As a wheelchair user, having the centre completely accessible was so important to me too. It’s a safe haven during such a painful and scary time, and more often than not it was the highlight of the week.
My sister, myself, and my Mam, who was caring for me full time, all visited the centre for different services – massage, reflexology, counselling, art classes, mindfulness courses, a carers group, and more. When your whole world is dealing with illness, to have somewhere to go to switch off and fully relax means everything. To receive treatments that help your body heal and recover, as well as to learn how better to cope with the hand you’ve been dealt, and to simply have somewhere to go to sit in the calm and the quiet, makes more of a difference than words could ever fully express. The help we received was invaluable, and we were so lucky to have such a place on our doorstep.
To look back ten years later, the difference that the Solas Cancer Support Centre made for me personally in my recovery is immense. When you imagine multiplying that by every person who has come through their doors in the past decade, you begin to see the impact they’ve made.’
Manager Tracy McDaid explains the huge community effort that built the Centre: ‘The Centre opened in February 2011 – the culmination of a phenomenal 4-year capital development project that raised €1,250,000. The charity could not provide the services it does without the generous community support that continues today, and we are so grateful for it’.
While the doors of the centres are temporarily closed a wide range of support options are available remotely for anyone who feels they might benefit from support around a cancer related experience. Please call the Solas Cancer Support Centre on 051 304604 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.