Charis Cancer Care has announced details of an ambitious fundraising programme to support expansion plans at the Lough Fea based centre in 2020.
The charity is seeking to raise a further £180,000 to realise a much-needed facility expansion which is scheduled to open in Spring/Summer this year.
Charis Cancer Care has successfully secured grants to help deliver this extension but the fundraising momentum will continue in 2020 as the team work towards achieving this target.
At this point, the centre has only secured half of the funds needed to reimagine and increase the size of its supportive offering at the centre, which has been operating for 10 years to support people on their cancer journey.
The funds, totalling £180,000, were awarded by Priority (6 LEADER) of the Northern Ireland Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs and the European Union and topped up by the Housing Executive and Mid Ulster District Council.
The funding, which in total will cover approximately 50% of the costs, was boosted by a further £20,000 from the Housing Executive and £10,000 from Mid Ulster District Council under their Rural Development Programme (RDP) match-funding initiatives supports people who are affected by cancer and families who have been bereaved through cancer.
Charis Cancer Care filed a planning application for the new extension in 2018. The application was approved in early 2019 and local builders J&M Begley from Omagh were successful in securing the tender for the build. All rooms will be on the ground floor to facilitate ease of access for people with mobility challenges.
Discussing the grants and the fundraising efforts, Dr Ben Glancy, Chair of Charis Cancer Care said: “We are delighted to have secured this funding and want to thank everyone involved in getting us to this point. We especially thank Eamon Gallogly and his team and the Local Action Group for their support, as well as the officials at the Housing Executive and Mid Ulster District Council for providing match-funding.
“Charis Cancer Care exists to support people who face a cancer diagnosis and their families and has worked with over 8,300 people since it opened almost 10 years ago, with demand increasing from month to month. These new facilities will provide much needed, purpose-built space for our clients and additional capacity to increase the support we offer. We very much look forward to the doors opening in June 2020.”
Councillor Sean Clarke from the Local Action Group (LAG) and Vice Chair of Mid Ulster Rural Development Partnership (MURDP) added: “Funding for this project was awarded through our Basis Rural Services Scheme which aims to improve service delivery within rural areas through the use of community hubs. Across Mid Ulster we have provided almost £2.7m in funding under this particular Scheme which will significantly benefit our rural communities. Charis Cancer Care provides vital services to people suffering with cancer and their families within our rural community and we are pleased to have been able to support the extension project through this funding.”
LEADER is a delivery mechanism through which money allocated to the Northern Ireland Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 can be spent within rural communities to improve the quality of life and economic prosperity in their local area. Delivered by the Department of Agricultural, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA), its current round has been running from 2014 and will end in 2020.
The finance that Charis has secured from that programme will provide approximately half of the total costs needed to complete the new extension while the match funding from the Housing Executive and the local Council, as well as Charis’ ongoing fundraising efforts, will provide the remaining funds required.
The new extension will be one of many celebrations in 2020 for Charis Cancer Care which will also mark its first decade since it opened its doors to cancer sufferers and their families.
Imelda McGucken, Centre Director of Charis Cancer Care also welcomed the news: “Charis can now broaden the services offered to patients coping with diagnosis, detection and treatment. Services are free and complement rather than replace orthodox cancer treatments. On average, the centre welcomes in excess of 130 new users per month and with the extension in place we will be able to support even more people at the time when they need it most.”
As an independent charity, Charis does not receive government funding and relies exclusively on support from the local community and businesses to raise funds. The annual running costs for the centre are currently in the region of £380,000.
Should you wish to make a donation to Charis to support cancer patients, their families and those bereaved with cancer, please contact the centre on T. 028 8676 9217. All donations go straight to the charity.