A much-needed resource centre which will bring vital information and support closer to home for people with life-limiting illnesses has welcomed its first visitors thanks to the generosity of local people.
The Pear Tree Centre, which is next to Cutlers Hill Surgery in Halesworth, has opened its doors to anyone with cancer and other life-limiting illness from across north east Suffolk and south Norfolk, as well as their families and carers.
It offers advice on finance and benefits, as well as help understanding a diagnosis and coping with bereavement. The centre includes space for local support groups to meet, such as Halesworth Dementia Carers group and a Parkinson’s group, a counselling room, small library and a comfortable area where people can relax and chat informally. A therapy room where patients can receive complementary treatments, such as Reiki and massage, is also available, while planting will be added to the landscaped gardens in the spring to help promote wellbeing.
It comes after the Pear Tree Fund charity, which was formerly known as Halesworth Community Nursing Care Fund, raised almost £900,000 to fund the building work.
Ted Edwards, co-chair of the Pear Tree Centre project, said: “We are absolutely delighted that the centre has welcomed its first visitors and we can start to provide essential information and support to people living in Halesworth and the surroundings areas.
“We first identified the need for this kind of resource several years ago. It has traditionally been a challenge for people living locally to access the sort of services we are providing, as poor public transport links make it difficult to reach larger towns and cities such as Norwich. The centre will therefore play a vital role in improving the lives of these patients and their families by providing them with local help when they need it the most.
“We have been absolutely blown away by the fantastic support we’ve received from local people during the past five years of fundraising, and would like to thank everyone who has given their time and money so generously to help our vision become a reality. We hope that the centre will quickly become an invaluable resource which will make a real difference to people’s lives.”