The new Sara Lee Trust counselling and therapy centre project has received a massive boost of £24,500 from The League of Friends of Bexhill Hospital.
Building work has begun on a £165,000 project by the Sara Lee Trust to create a counselling and therapy centre in Sidley. The League of Friends pledged £24,500 to furnish and equip the centre after Trust chief executive officer Dan Redsull and lead therapist Kerry Evans gave a presentation to the committee’s May 2016 meeting.
Officers explained how the Trust was formed by Sara Lee’s family and friends at the wish of their daughter Sara who had died of cancer at the age of 32. It offers counselling and therapy care, operating principally from St Michael’s Hospice at Hastings but needed premises in Bexhill to complement those at Rye in order to provide equitable access across Hastings and Rother.
On Monday January 16, Dan Redsell and project support officer Claire Lands gave League officers a tour of the former Lloyds Bank site together with builder Nick Alleyne of contractors Alleyne Davis Carpentry & Construction who are tasked with delivering the Centre.
The Centre will include therapy and counselling rooms, offices and kitchen space and limited parking. A therapeutic garden featuring a labyrinth will offer an oasis of calm. In addition to income from a Sara Lee family legacy, around 20 sponsoring organisations and individuals have made it possible to launch the Sidley project.
Dan says the Centre could eventually see up to 100 local people a week, who are living with cancer and other life threatening illnesses, receiving counselling and complementary therapy. “Cancer rates in Sidley continue to increase and were already much higher than the national average,” he said. The Trust found that many people living with cancer and other life threatening illnesses require help and support in coming to terms with their condition and identifying the range of help available to them.
“We will be offering a mixture of one-to-one and group therapy.”
Thanking League chairman Cllr Stuart Earl and treasurer Chris Ashford, Dan said: “The support of the League of Friends has been fantastic.”