The League of Friends of
Bexhill Hospital -
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Sara Lee Therapy Centre for Sidley

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THE League of Friends of Bexhill Hospital has been thanked for its support for a project that could eventually see up to 100 local cancer patients a week receiving counselling and complementary therapy.

Building work has begun on a £165,000 project by the Sara Lee Trust to create a counselling and therapy centre in Sidley.

The League of Friends pledged £24,500 to furnish and equip the centre after Trust chief executive officer Dan Redsull and lead therapist Kerry Evans gave a presentation to the committee's May 2016 meeting.

The officers explained how the Trust had been formed by Sara Lee's parents at the wish of their daughter who had died of cancer at the age of 32. It offers counselling and therapy, operating principally from St Michael's Hospice at Hastings but needed premises in Bexhill to complement those at Rye.

On Monday, Mr Redsull and project support officer Claire Lands gave League officers a tour of the former Lloyds Bank site together with builder Nick Alleyne of contractors Alleyne Davis. The Trust has already opened a charity shop fronting Ninfield Road. An archway beside the shop leads to the site of a former mews area. Behind a two-storey building being adapted for the Trust's use, Alleyne Davis have already laid the foundations for a further building.

The project will include therapy and counselling rooms, office and kitchen space and limited parking. An ornamental garden featuring a labyrinth will offer an oasis of calm. Dan Redsull says there is a pressing need for counselling and complementary therapy to be offered to cancer patients locally. “Cancer rates in Sidley have gone up in the last year and a half. They were already above average.” The Trust has found that many cancer patients require help and support in coming to terms with their condition and identifying the range of help available to them.

Complementary therapy has been demonstrated to offer significant physical and emotional help for patients undergoing medical treatment. In addition to cash from the Sara Lee family trust, a total of 20 sponsoring organisations has made it possible to launch the Sidley project.

Dan Redsull told League chairman Cllr Stuart Earl and treasurer Chris Ashford: “The support of the League of Friends has been fantastic.” Alleyne Davis expect to have building work completed by June.

The Sara Lee Trust hope to have two therapists working at the centre initially with further staffing when funding permits. Dan Redsull says: “We will be offering a mixture of one-to-one and group therapy. Over a period of time we expect to build up to seeing 50 patients a week with a100 a week later.”

Reg. CIO Charity No 1169175 Sunbeams 41 Broad Oak Lane Bexhill-on-Sea TN39 4LG Email info@bexhillhospitalfriends.org.uk