Cookstown cancer facility celebrates 7th birthday with expansion

Tom Diamond and Imelda McGucken, Charis with Ryan Dougan, architect. Press Eye
Tom Diamond and Imelda McGucken, Charis with Ryan Dougan, architect. Press Eye

Cookstown’s Charis Cancer Care is celebrating its 7th birthday with the announcement of major new plans for the centre.

Having welcomed over 5,000 visitors through its doors, the cancer centre is hoping the explansion will help them to reach out to more local cancer sufferes and their families - as it doubles in size.

One of the leading causes of death in the UK, it is estimated that one in two people will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives.

Cancer support charity Charis, has been supporting NI people affected by cancer for the last seven years.

The new state-of-the-art expansion phase, where patients and families are treated under one roof, has been designed by Vision Design Architecture and is due to be completed this year.

The cutting edge design reflects two complementary aspects of cancer care – the ‘Science of Treatment’ which houses the treatment room facilities, and the ‘Art of Care’ which features more social and interactive areas.

All of Charis’ services will continue to be provided free of charge.

Speaking about the news, Charis director Imelda McGucken, said: “The charity was established to support people who are affected by cancer and families who have been bereaved.

“The programme has been designed to complement rather than replace orthodox cancer treatments with the aim of providing physical, psychological and emotional support. Over 4,300 people have accessed Charis’ services to date and the centre will welcome its 5,000th visitor this year.

“On average, the centre welcomes in excess of 25 new users per week and with the extension in place that number is likely to double.”

Tom Diamond, Trustee at Charis added: “To accommodate this growth in demand we’ve submitted a planning application for an extension which will increase the size of the centre by roughly 50%, adding approximately 3,000 square feet.”