Price rise forces move
A centre which supports people with cancer across the West Midlands has launched an urgent hunt for a new base after a huge increase in fees meant it could no longer stay in its home of 11 years.
The Cancer Support Centre in Sutton Coldfield has around 500 clients, with an army of volunteers and a team of specialist therapists who help them deal with the trauma of a cancer diagnosis.
The centre offers therapy and wellbeing sessions, information, advice and a friendly safe space for people looking for reassurance or support.
The charity was set up 21 years ago and for the past 11 it has been based in Lindridge Road, within the St Giles Hospice Supportive Care Centre.
The lease ends in January but as the cost of living increases, the price of rent and room hire has also gone up and the charity can not afford to stay.
Marie Moore, vice chair of the CSC trustees, said: “Our priority is to reassure our clients, volunteers and staff that our service and support will continue and our huge thanks goes out to them in this time of change.
“After 11 years of sub-leasing space at Lindridge Road, St Giles, our landlord, has given notice for us to quit by January 17. We have been actively working with them over the past two months to identify if there is a way in which we could continue to share the building.
“Sadly, a workable solution has not been found and the new price to rent the space is well beyond our reach.
“We are now in the challenging position of having to find an alternative home very quickly to make sure there is no disruption to our service.
“Our intention is that we will remain in Sutton Coldfield, or the immediate surrounding area.”
Marie said the charity survived through the Covid pandemic by moving some services online through Zoom sessions and YouTube videos and this would continue regardless.
“We do need our face-to-face support to continue though,” she added. “It’s so important for our clients – sometimes all they want is a cup of tea and a chat in person. We can offer support, advice and reassurance and that’s all better done face-to-face.”
The charity has enlisted the support of Sutton Coldfield MP Andrew Mitchell and the trustees are now calling for the community to get behind them and help in the search.
Marie said temporary premises would be accepted in the short term if a search for a long-term home was not immediately successful. She urged anyone who is aware of any suitable premises or who can help in any way to get in touch.
“With the help of our teams, clients, supporters and the public, we hope to end this uncertainty quickly,” she added. “If we work together, this will be easier to cope with and manage.”
For more details about the centre, visit www.suttoncancersupport.org