Ethos

Our purpose

We enable people affected by cancer, through community-based care and support, to find new strength, resilience and their own way of coping with the challenges cancer brings.

Our values

•  Our services are responsive to the individual.

•  We provide high quality care delivered by people with professional knowledge and expertise.

•  We are supportive to clients, staff and volunteers alike.

•  We provide a hospitable and safe environment where service users can be supported, grow and change.

•  We are independent, and this allows us to be flexible and innovative.

•  We build partnerships that allow us to provide a seamless service to our clients.

Our guiding principles

Some of the Centre's guiding principles are:

•  the services are tailored to suit the needs of each individual

•  time, space and choice are given

•  each person's response to life-threatening illness is respected

•  we provide a wide range of services, which allows people to access help in many different ways

•  we seek to empower people to contribute to their own healing process

•  we help people to find a centred approach to life, rather than emphasising positive thinking, which can become a burden

•  the Centre aims to combine compassion with a rigorous assessment of potential forms of information and support that could be offered

•  the multi-disciplinary team works as a whole for the benefit of service users

•  practitioners are carefully selected to ensure that their approach is in line with our ethos

•  no-one seeking help is turned away through being unable to contribute financially

•  we actively seek ways to make services available to all parts of our diverse local community, including people of different races and faiths

•  we encourage Centre members to participate in the running of the Centre, where appropriate

•  we work in co-operation with hospitals and health professionals

•  we contribute to the development of partnerships between health services and the voluntary sector, and provide forms of psycho-social support that complement statutory and other services.

The Centre's holistic approach

The word 'holistic' is now in frequent use, but can have many different connotations. Therefore it's important to define more closely what we mean by saying that we follow an holistic approach.

It is a principle underlying all our work that each person touched by cancer is an individual with their own uniqueness, and with their own set of circumstances, who will respond in their own particular way to the challenge of a life-threatening illness.

We therefore do not have a structured programme that everyone goes through. Instead we meet each person and find out who they are, what their particular needs are, and how they have responded to the illness (whether they are the person who is ill or a family member or friend).

We start off, in the initial appointment, by spending time explaining the Centre's services, getting to know the person and, wherever possible, working out with the individual how they want to make use of our services.

This is part of the enabling or empowering approach, which is to help the individual to exercise choice at all stages of their cancer journey. If someone is in a state of shock or exhausted, then we will make suggestions as to what they do initially.

Our commitment is to help individuals to tap into their own strength, and to identify their own way of moving forward. This sometimes means supporting people when they are taking paths that do not always seem wise to the therapist or staff member. Our belief is that we cannot know what is right for another person.