Macmillan Horizon Centre Celebrates First Birthday

The Horizon Centre in Brighton, which provides all round support for people affected by cancer in Sussex, celebrated it’s one-year anniversary and official launch on 22 November.

Speakers at the event, attended by over 150 people including volunteers and people who use the centre, were representatives from the three partners who worked together to build this pioneering place. Lynda Thomas, Chief Executive of Macmillan Cancer Support; Evelyn Barker, Managing Director of Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals Trust; and founder and chair of The Sussex Cancer Fund, George Deutsch.

Emma Kennedy, who has secondary breast cancer, also told her moving story of how she is being supported by the variety of the services at the centre, such as welfare and benefits advice, yoga and complementary therapies.

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Emma, who is being treated at the Sussex Cancer Centre over the road, paid tribute to the clinical staff there, and the staff and volunteers at the centre. She said: “I’m so lucky that we have the centre; it’s complementary therapies help me so much with the harshness of the chemo. I’m also proud of the relationship between the oncologists and nurses at the Sussex Cancer Centre with the Horizon. It feels like we are supported by all, who are working together to keep us well.”

Helping to unveil the plaque was the Mayor of Brighton, Cllr Mo Marsh and Doon Mackichan, Sussex based actor and comedian from shows such as Smack the Pony and Plebs. Doon’s son Louis was diagnosed with leukaemia when he was nine. He’s 21 now, fit and healthy. Doon said: “The Horizon Centre is a haven to people affected by cancer – it’s so important for them just to feel normal. Even just being able to get a decent sandwich and a coffee makes such a difference.

“When my son was ill he was in hospital and it was just so brutal and harsh. But here it is completely different – places like the Brian Eno sensory room are geared to people’s needs and help people feel better. It’s incredible that a building can help your healing.

“Hopefully the Horizon Centre can be used as a blueprint for how to treat people affected by cancer. It’s fantastic that it takes a holistic approach and people can get everything they need here – all the way through to benefits advice.”

The centre provides a non-clinical, relaxing space for anyone affected by cancer, to cope with the practical, emotional, physical and financial impact of cancer. The idea for it came from George Deutsch, who was an oncologist at the Cancer Centre when he founded the Sussex Cancer Fund almost 40 years ago, to better support patients having treatment. The charity approached Macmillan and the NHS Trust to work together to create this vital place.

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