TRUSTEES, staff, clients and volunteers at the CHARIS Integrated Cancer Centre celebrated today after receiving a prestigious national award.
The centre, which provides a range of support and services for cancer patients that complement the treatment and care given by hospitals and community services, was awarded the Macmillan Quality Environment Mark.
This Macmillan Quality Environment award is the first of its kind in the UK. It recognises and rewards good practice and high standards within the physical environment of a cancer care building. CHARIS is among only 3 sites in Northern Ireland to be given the award, which has been developed in collaboration with people living with cancer and organisations including the Department of Health.
The Macmillan Quality Environment Mark will help to ensure that people affected by cancer are treated and supported in physical environments of uniformly high quality. The scheme is open to any healthcare providers from the public, voluntary or private sectors that operate cancer care buildings.
CHARIS Centre Director Imelda McGucken said: “Our main focus is “client-centred” care. We pride ourselves in sharing with clients and their families our unique set of values and care for them at a time when they are most vulnerable, in a professional, caring and competent manner.”
Each client and their next of kin receive an assessment and a minimum of six one to one sessions of aromatherapy, reflexology, massage and/or counselling. Additionally they can avail of dietary and financial advice and three weeks of Relaxation and/or Eatsmart healthy eating course, all provided free of charge.
The Centre benefits from six fully equipped treatment rooms for body therapies, a counselling room, relaxation room and seminar room with all areas being designed and furnished in a homely, calming way.
In the words of a recent client: “The confidential setting encourages open and honest therapeutic relationship between client and therapist which proves ultimately rewarding.”
Paula Kealey, Macmillan Senior Development Manager said: “This award reflects the hard work and dedication of everyone involved in making the CHARIS Centre such a special place. Assessors found that staff worked extremely hard to create a welcoming atmosphere and that they are committed to providing high quality care in a comfortable environment.
“It’s Macmillan’s ambition to ensure that all cancer care environments aim to achieve this quality mark and CHARIS should be congratulated for successfully achieving this award.”
The centre is in a scenic location in the Sperrins, appointed as an area of natural outstanding beauty with a sensory garden and beautiful walking labyrinth.
“Charis can accept clients from all over Northern Ireland and they can directly refer themselves. Contact Charis on 028 86769217 or visit the website on www.chariscancercare.org for further information.
Organisations can apply to be assessed for the Macmillan Quality Environment Mark via www.macmillan.org.uk/cancerenvironments.