For people undergoing cancer treatment, therapy services such as those offered by Cancer Support Scotland are a lifeline. The charity was previously operating in cramped conditions in a tiny former nurse’s flat and was in desperate need of larger premises close to the Beatson Oncology Department at Gartnavel Hospital, in Glasgow.
At the same time, the historic but dilapidated former hospital chapel, designed by architect JJ Burnet in 1904, was at risk of falling apart. This all changed with a bold initiative by Glasgow Building Preservation Trust, boosted by a grant from The National Lottery, which saved the Category B listed building, restoring it to its former glory.
The restoration of the building was combined with the conversion of its interior to house the new Calman Cancer Support Centre. It now features calm spaces and beautiful rooms where complementary therapies and counselling are delivered for free to cancer out-patients and their family and friends. The support groups and range of therapies now available have increased to include services such as daily talking therapy, online counselling, chiropody and groups like Headstrong, a head scarf tying service.
Visitors can also enjoy the building’s secret garden and a tranquillity walking trail within the wider grounds, which the NHS has recently incorporated into their Glasgow Health Walks.
Most importantly for Scotland’s cancer patients, the building’s new use has allowed Cancer Support Scotland to respond to the increasing need for their therapies which has trebled since the centre opened in November 2012.
To find out more about the restoration project click on www.gbpt.org
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