At Long Last

25 Jun, 2008 12:45 PM

AFTER more than years of intensive fundraising the new Cancer Services Centre in Milton will open its doors to the public this weekend.

The centre will be open from Sunday (June 29) through to Wednesday (July 2) for a series of community open days and member of the local community are being encouraged to join members of the Cancer Outpatients Appeal Committee on a tour of the facility.

Appeal president Dee Carrington said it had taken four-and-a-half years of intensive fundraising by the committee along with over 75 different community groups and a grant of almost $500,000 from the Australian Government to reach the point where the centre was ready to be commissioned to provide chemotherapy and a range of cancer support services for local cancer patients, their families and carers.

 

"To witness the enthusiasm and commitment of our southern Shoalhaven community working together to build this Centre is something we will never forget," Mrs Carrington said this week.

 

"It has been inspirational and has helped to motivate the committee to meet its goal. It has been a memorable experience for all of us."

Mrs Carrington said community interest and support in the project had never wained and she is expecting people to turn out in force to tour the facility.

Guided tours will be held on each of the open days at 10am, 11am and 12 noon and again at 2pm, 3pm and 4pm.

Those people wanting to take part are being asked to call 4455 4953 or 0419 245 587 to book a tour in a bid to help prevent queues and overcrowding.

The Cancer Outpatients Appeal committee made its final inspection of the centre on Monday and all agreed it meet their expectations.

"We put a lot of time into the design detail to create a comfortable and welcoming atmosphere," secretary of the management and development committees, Sonia Smiles, told the Times.

"We also tried to incorporate some of the design elements of the older style cottage originally on the site and in similar homes in Milton itself."

In contrast, the chemotherapy treatment room has a more modern design with a sloping acoustic ceiling and a north facing wall of windows offering outstanding views

of the Milton countryside.

The wall also incorporating stunning stained glass windows, designed and donated by local glass artist, Graham Lyons.Committee member Chris James said that while the community room had a traditional feel, it boasted sophisticated video conferencing facilities for interactive links to other centres where talks and presentations are being held.

"It means we will have access to the latest cancer related information without the need for locals to travel to distant sites," Mr James said.

"It also provides a valuable communication and conference tool for centre staff."

Mrs Carrington said committee members were looking forward to showing community members around the centre and to personally thanking them for all they have contributed to this important community initiative.

"We hope everyone will be as proud of the centre as we are," she said.