Based at the heart of the Cancer Centre at Belfast City Hospital, the charity funds life-saving and life-changing projects that make a real and lasting difference to the lives of thousands of local people affected by cancer and in the last year alone, Friends of the Cancer Centre has put over £1.1 million back into local cancer services.
Follow our story below and see just some of the ways that we have been making a difference for over three decades.
Friends of Montgomery House was established when cancer services were based at the old Belvoir Park Hospital in South Belfast. Over the next 20 years, the charity would go on to fund major projects, including the purchase of an MRI scanner.
Cancer services transferred to the new Cancer Centre at Belfast City Hospital. The move marked a new chapter for the charity, which also moved to its new home and changed its name to Friends of the Cancer Centre.
An abseil off Belfast’s Europa Hotel, launching the charity’s new name and vision for the future.
First major project at the new hospital site with the £150,000 refurbishment of the on-site patient hotel, Glenview House, which is used by nearly 2,000 people every year
Charity funds its first complementary therapist, who is specially trained to offer cancer patients free treatments such as massage, aromatherapy and reflexology. Over recent years this service has grown, with over 1,500 people benefitting each year.
We fund our first specialist cancer nurse, Elaine Shaw. Elaine, who is our breast cancer clinical nurse specialist, is still supported by the charity today.
Special relaxation and exercise classes are funded by the charity for the first time, giving patients free access to yoga, pilates and tai chi classes. These classes are still funded by us today.
The charity funds its first doctor, Dr. Suneil Jain, who is a specialist in prostate cancer. Dr. Jain works directly with patients in the Cancer Centre and is also heavily involved in cutting-edge cancer research locally.
We fund two more vital staff within the Cancer Centre. Renee Reid joins us as our clinical nurse specialist for teenagers and young adults and Lindsey Anderson joins the radiotherapy team as our information and support radiographer.
In 2014 we invest £1 million into local cancer research through a unique partnership with the Patrick G Johnston Centre for Cancer Research at Queen’s University, Belfast.
2015 marked Friends of the Cancer Centre’s 30th anniversary and three decades of supporting local cancer patients through our life-saving and life-changing work.
2016 marked the 10th anniversary of the Cancer Centre, which opened its doors to patients back in 2006.
Over the last decade Friends of the Cancer Centre has put over £5.5 million back into the hospital supporting staff and patients through the work that we do.
2017 was a landmark year for the charity as we funded a total of 31 additional members of staff. Our Urology Clinical Nurse Specialist, Shelley Mooney (pictured) was one of the latest additions to the team.
The charity’s work continues to make a real difference to local people. This year our nurses provided 800 hours of additional care to patients and families; we provided 25,000 cups of free tea and coffee for patients as they wait on appointments; our financial grants supported over 200 people and much, much more.
In 2019 the charity marked a new milestone by proudly funding 35 additional members of staff, the most the charity has ever funded. Our staff, some of them pictured here, include doctors, specialist nurses, research staff and many more.
Over the last three decades, the charity has grown from a small organistaion run by dedicated volunteers, to a professional organisation investing over £1 million into local cancer services each year. This is thanks to your support.
We know that every penny you raise tells a story and represents something, or someone, very special. That is why we promise that every penny donated to Friends of the Cancer Centre will be put to the best possible use.
Thank you for being such an incredible friend to the charity and together, we are making a real difference.