It is a small converted storeroom behind a shop selling rehabilitation aids. But for hundreds of people around Shropshire, these tidy but most modest surroundings are a lifeline.
“We’re a drop-in centre for anybody that’s affected by cancer,” says Jess Brindley, who runs the new Macmillan Cancer Support information centre at Telford’s Princess Royal Hospital.
“That might be patients, someone who has got someone in the family with cancer, or friends.”
The centre opened last year following the success of a similar operation at Shrewsbury. It is staffed five days a week, and the charity takes pride in the fact that no subjects relating to the disease are off limits.
Today the charity declared it a huge success – but also emphasised the need for donations to keep it going.
“We provide a listening ear,” says Jess. “People are able to come in and have a chat to somebody about what’s going on with them.
“Sometimes we can help signpost them towards other services that might be available, or refer them to somebody who might be able to give them some specialist advice.”
The 32-year-old, from Shrewsbury, started work with Macmillan shortly before the centre opened in July last year, having previously worked helping people with addiction problems. She says the centre at Shrewsbury receives about 60 visitors a month, and many patients had been asking for a similar service in Telford.
“We have information here on everything from chemotherapy and radiotherapy, to getting travel insurance, there are booklets for children and young people,” she says.
Of course, providing this type of service does not come cheap, and the charity invested £59,000 fitting out the centre.
It falls to dedicated volunteers like Jayney Davies to raise the funds to keep the charity runnin
g“She had a Macmillan nurse come to the house, which was rearranged so she could sleep downstairs,” she recalls. “This meant she could stay at home.”