Ayrshire Cancer Support break ground on ambitious new centre

Key stakeholders at the groundbreaking ceremony -Credit:Alasdair MacLeod/Ayrshire Post
Key stakeholders at the groundbreaking ceremony -Credit:Alasdair MacLeod/Ayrshire Post

Ground has been broken on an ambitious project which will see a dedciated cancer support centre built for the whole of Ayrshire.

The facility, which will cater for children, young people and adults, is seeing the former St Andrews Hotel transformed for Ayrshire Cancer Support. The new Ayr centre will become a haven to support people of all ages affected by cancer – whether through their own diagnosis, or that of a loved one.

Therapeutic rooms, a drop-in facility and counselling rooms form part of the plans which will add to the charity’s existing facilities of their Kilmarnock Centre and Head Office. Cabinet secretary, Neil Gray MSP, was among those present as ground was officially broken at the site which is being overhauled by Prestwick-based Ashleigh Building.

Sandra McCall, Chief Executive Officer of Ayrshire Cancer Support, hailed the generosity of several founding sponsors, grant funders, corporate partners, and the support of the local community in their fundraising efforts, in helping make the project possible.

Professor Ian Welsh OBE, Chairperson of Ayrshire Cancer Support added: “This project is a significant milestone in the history of the organisation. Once complete, the Ayr Centre will allow us to increase our support options, offering bespoke spaces for children, young people, and adults. Sadly, there are few people whose lives are unaffected by cancer and this centre will fill a gap for a much-needed service.”

Mr. Gray MSP, Cabinet Secretary for NHS Recovery, Health and Social Care, said: “Cancer is a priority for this government, and that is why we published our ten-year Cancer Strategy and 3-year Action Plan last year. It is wonderful to have the opportunity to see the plans for this Centre and the fantastic work of Ayrshire Cancer Support in helping those affected by cancer.”

Claire Burden, Chief Executive of NHS Ayrshire & Arran, added: “Receiving a cancer diagnosis can be devastating, and having access to local specialist support, clinical and non-clinical is invaluable. This centre will provide much needed support and therapies for children, young people and adults, as well as their families and carers.”

Ashleigh managing director, David Smith, said: "We are delighted to be playing our part in delivering a facility which will mean so much to so many in this community. This is a project which will be able to make a real difference to lives and it is one we are proud to be supporting."

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