CANCER Care has opened its new centre in Barrow.

The charity, which provides free therapy for residents affected by cancer and bereavement, began to welcome its first clients into its renovated Duke Street base on Tuesday.

The move marks an expansion for the charity in Furness, after it said ‘a significant increase’ in the number of clients it serves meant it had ‘outgrown’ its previous base at Trinity Church on Warwick Street.

The new centre, which features specially designed rooms and a fully-equipped children’s play therapy facility, was due to open in April. The date, however, was pushed back owing to the springtime coronavirus outbreak, which meant the charity was unable to carry out face-to-face sessions.

CancerCare has had a base in the town for more than three years during which time it says it has helped hundreds of people across Furness and south Cumbria more broadly.

During the lockdown period, the charity provided telephone and online therapy for clients. It also extended services to include people experiencing bereavement for any reason, not just as a result of cancer.

Commenting on the Duke St centre's opening, CEO, Maria Chambers, said: “Opening the new Barrow centre is a huge milestone for CancerCare and underlines our commitment to providing the people of Furness with the support they deserve. The fresh new facilities in the centre are fantastic and the accessible new town centre location will bring us to the attention of even more people.

“I’d like to thank the community which has really got behind us and many of whom also volunteered their time to help get the new centre up and running. I’d also like to thank people for their kind donations, including the local Sir John Fisher Foundation which provided funding to help us kit out the centre with the specialised furniture we need.

“We kept the opening low-key as we have put in place social distancing procedures to protect our staff and clients but we are planning to mark the occasion in style when the situation allows.”