THE next in our series of articles marking the 10th anniversary of the locally-based Lavender Touch charity, focuses on its dream to construct its own dedicated centre.
Over the course of its existence, supporting families throughout the Borders living with cancer, Lavender Touch volunteers and therapists have witnessed first hand the benefits of dedicated resources such as the Macmillan Unit and the newly-built Margaret Kerr Unit.
The Lavender Touch works closely with them all, adding to an established cancer service in the Borders.
But the charity now wishes to develop its services a stage further. Jan Beattie (chair) and Sheila Scott (secretary) have held their positions since the charity’s founding and long dreamt of creating a Lavender Touch Centre – a community resource, outwith a hospital environment, which would allow them to increase the level, and types of support given to the many cancer sufferers and their families in the area.
The creation of a new Lavender Touch Community Interest Company (CIC) a year ago, has provided the opportunity to examine the possibility of finally realising this dream. Led by Malcolm Webster as managing director, this company is now looking into ways of raising funds for a centre, as well as the development of new products, which will hopefully help sustain the charity in future years.
New architectural drawings show the centre, constructed on a site close to the Borders General Hospital and complete with therapy rooms – which would also be used for counselling and advocacy – education/training facilities, production unit, garden, coffee area and shop.
“With a designated space we could be more efficient in the way we process referrals. Also patients could have direct contact with us and be able to pop into the centre for support,” explained Sheila this week. Currently aromatherapy blends are individually created and used by the therapists as part of the patients’ treatments, but within a centre it would also be possible to dispense a personalised therapeutic product for home use.
These products would also be for sale to the general public and those visiting the centre.
Sheila added: “We are often asked by those we treat if they can buy products from us.
“Presently, we cannot, but an established centre, with a lab area, and the necessary licensing of the products, will allow us to do this.”
And she continued: “We have had offers of volunteer help, gardening help, architect drawings donated by Gordon Melrose, two pharmacists working in the background on our products and medical input from health professionals and so far we have approximately £4000 in donations.
“We estimate that we would need in the region of £250,000 to get this centre off the ground in a property we would rent on a long-term basis
“We would appeal to anyone who might be able to help us financially or in any other way, which would allow us to create this centre to continue to enhance an already established cancer service in the Scottish Borders.”
Further information can be found at www.lavendertouch.co.uk and www.lavendertouchenterprises.co.uk or by calling Sheila on 07932 174317 Email firstname.lastname@example.org