Big day nears for new clinic

07 May, 2008 10:25 AM

AFTER four and a half years of intensive community fundraising, the big day is drawing near when the Milton Ulladulla Community Cancer Services Centre will open its doors.

And the Appeal committee is planning to mark the occasion by inviting everyone to a preview series of community open days.

"We have received many positive comments about how good the centre looks from the outside," Appeal president Dee Carrington told the Times this week.

"Everyone has worked so hard towards completion of this project and we want to give them the opportunity to see the results of all that hard work and to say a heartfelt thank you for all their support over the last four and a half years.

"I think they will be impressed with the interior finish in both the community rooms where we have retained features of the old style of cottage originally on the site and the transition into the chemotherapy area which is a spacious and modern yet comfortable treatment facility.

"It incorporates stunning feature windows of stained glass designed and made by local artist, Graham Lyons, and offers magnificent views across the rolling Milton landscape to the sea."

Mrs Carrington said individual TV/DVD units had been installed to help people pass the time during treatment.

Patients, their families and carers will also have access to the lending library of CDs, DVDs, books and pamphlets on a wide range of topics associated with cancer.

Peter Kastelein and his team have made a beautifully crafted rosewood cabinet which houses the wig lending library, a service free to men and women with temporary hair loss due to a medical condition.

Cancer support groups will be utilising the community room for their meetings and social events with the committee planning to add to the support programs and educational opportunities over coming months.

"These are just some of the features and services which will be available in the centre and the list will grow as support services are developed," Mrs Carrington said.

"The committee has always had great faith in this concept of building a range of support programs to address the broader needs of cancer patients and their carers beyond their clinical treatment.

"The building was designed with this objective in mind and it has come together and met expectations, thanks to the tireless support of our architect, Alison Stephens, the contribution of the original design by heritage architect, Robin Graham, and the work of Batmac, our builder and their contractors".

To avoid queues and overcrowding the committee will organise tours on each of the open days to be held at 10am, 11am, and 12 noon, then re-commencing at 2pm, 3pm and 4pm.

Light refreshments will be available and there will be time for a question and answer session after each tour. Individuals, families, businesses, schools, community groups, and clubs are all invited to book in for a tour.

Mrs Carrington said the committee was looking forward to showing everyone around this unique and important community resource.

She said the timing of the community open days and the official opening of the centre was dependent upon the South Eastern Sydney Illawarra Area Health Service submitting documentation to the Lands Title Office to consolidate the titles of the hospital and the Cancer Services Centre lots.

The committee will advertise the dates for the community open days in the Milton Ulladulla Times and around town as soon as this work has been completed.

In addition to the enormous financial contribution from the people of the southern Shoalhaven, this project was supported by funding of $498,300 from the Australian Government.