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Cancer support boost in Wymondham

PUBLISHED: 10:00 19 February 2010 | UPDATED: 15:18 14 July 2010

Cancer patients in south Norfolk are set to get more support following the formation of an independent advice, therapy, and drop-in centre in Wymondham.

Cancer patients in south Norfolk are set to get more support following the formation of an independent advice, therapy, and drop-in centre in Wymondham.

New cancer charity, Star Throwers, was formed by oncology specialist Henry Mannings in frustration at the lack of support for people living with the disease.

The doctor now hopes to establish a network of specialist centres across the region following the refurbishment of a former medical practice in Wymondham.

The opening of Star Throwers comes after a dedicated team of more than 20 volunteers worked to transform the former Windmill Surgery, in Melton Road.

The new-look building, which is open five days a week, includes rooms for patients and relatives to seek advice and information from doctors, nurses and counsellors, a massage and complementary therapy suite, and a room where a patient can stay for the day to give their carer respite.

An education suite has also been created at the volunteer-run centre to teach schoolchildren about cancer prevention and detection.

Dr Mannings, who is a part-time specialist oncology doctor at the James Paget Hospital in Gorleston, said no other cancer support charity offered a similar service in Norfolk.

“When I was working at the Norfolk and Norwich I realised there was a need for support for people coming out of hospital with cancer, especially those who have been told that there is nothing more that can be done for them.”

“They have no other place to go to outside of hospital and there is no support once the hospital treatment ends. There is a big demand and hospices are limited on what they can do,” he said.

Dr Mannings said he began offering advice to patients in his own home three years ago, but jumped at the chance to create a dedicated centre when the Windmill Surgery in Wymondham moved home last year.

“It is a long-term goal to set up other similar centres in other parts in Norfolk, like Great Yarmouth and King's Lynn, and if successful expand into other parts of East Anglia. The important thing is that people come out of here feeling better than when they come in,” he said.

Chris Swinchatt , 32, from Saxmundham, who was diagnosed with a brain tumour five years ago, said the next nearest support centre was in Cambridge.

“Star Throwers is absolutely invaluable. It is relaxing and has a nice atmosphere and some of the treatments have been very helpful,” he said.

for more information, visit www.starthrowers.org.uk or call 01953 423304.

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