Construction work has begun on CLAN Cancer Support’s new centre on Westburn Road, Aberdeen – just a stone’s throw away from the charity’s existing building. It is expected to be completed by next summer.
The new multi-million pound centre is a huge milestone for the charity, which will be moving from its current base at Caroline Place, the charity’s home for more than 14 years. The move will allow CLAN to greatly expand its range of services, including alternative therapies and counselling, as well as being able to cater for more clients than was previously possible.
The new site, which extends to around 1.16 acres, will comprise a two storey centre, built by Morrison Construction Ltd, featuring specific areas for children, families and relaxation as well as extra parking and an extensive garden for visitors to enjoy.
Many people in Shetland will be familiar with the charity’s accommodation wing, CLAN Haven, which is available for patients and their families and friends travelling to Aberdeen for treatment or appointments. The new CLAN Haven will house 27 bedrooms, accommodating 45 people – almost doubling capacity.
Chief executive of CLAN Debbie Thomson said she was delighted to be able to mark such an important moment for the charity.
She said: “Over the past two years we have had the most overwhelming support from the community – stretching from Orkney and Shetland to across north-east Scotland – with communities, individuals and organisations all taking part in the most amazing fundraising efforts.
“Nowhere is this more true than in Shetland where the whole community came together and raised in excess of £700,000 – and continues to support us. We are quite overwhelmed at this support and generosity. I am sure that you will share my excitement is seeing our dream of a new CLAN House and CLAN Haven becoming a reality.
“We are focused on creating a home from home for all our clients and guests. We only have one chance to get this right for everyone coming to CLAN in the future so we are committed to ensuring that our new centre is as warm and welcoming as we can make it for everyone who walks through our doors.”
In the wake of Shetland’s fund-raising efforts CLAN became committed to providing support services locally. It has now established a weekly drop-in for information and support and a monthly support group, as well as offering complementary relaxation therapies such as reflexology and visualisation. More therapies may be offered shortly.
Support facilitator is Janette Budge who said setting up the service locally had proved very worthwhile. “We are getting new members each month to the support groups. The feedback we had from people was that they had really good support [as patients] in Aberdeen but when they came home they felt isolated.” The local support groups remedy that, said Mrs Budge, who also offers telephone support.
Last year’s CLAN 1,2,3 appeal, in which one charity aimed to take two years to raise £3 million, gained tremendous support in Shetland. Concentrated into one year, the community raised more than £400,000 with events such as Strictly CLAN Dancing, a variety concert and hosting a charity shop. Shetland Charitable Trust donated £250,000, the Sound Dance Club £36,000 and NHS Shetland £25,000.
CLAN’s target of £3 million was met but the campaign is on-going.
CLAN Cancer Support is an independent charity which offers support to anyone affected by cancer. Based in Aberdeen, the charity covers the whole of Grampian, Orkney and Shetland. CLAN is also developing services in the community and now has a presence in Ballater, Inverurie, Peterhead, Stonehaven, Orkney as well as Shetland.