Purley’s cancer help centre all set to enjoy its purple patch

The 2023 Paint Purley Purple campaign starts next week, raising awareness – and funds – for South East Cancer Help Centre, based in the Tesco complex.

Purple Purley: the annual campaign, with ‘yarn bombing’  runs through September and October

SECHC is again calling on residents, local shops, businesses, schools and other organisations to get involved and share their purple pictures on social media using the hashtag #PaintPurleyPurple.

The purple yarn bombing display that began in 2017 with just five trees covered in purple knitting in Purley town centre has expanded so that more than 70 trees and benches will be covered in 2023. All the knitting has kindly been made with love by members and supporters of the Centre (it gets laundered and re-used every year), with new panels sewn on where the trees have grown.

More volunteers are always needed to help attach the knitting so if you have an hour or two to spare in the first couple of weeks of September, the organisers ask that you contact the centre as soon as possible.

This is a very special year for SECHC, as they mark 40 years of helping people cope with cancer.

In 1983, a small self-help group was set up in a member’s home in Caterham for people who had been diagnosed with cancer. From these humble beginnings the South East Cancer Help Centre was established and has since helped thousands of people.

“We want everyone affected by cancer to get all the help they need from the moment of diagnosis,” said Jennifer Mollett, the SECHC chairman.

Fashion show: the SECHC’s 40th anniversary events have included a display of Victorian clothing

“Anyone who has had a cancer diagnosis within the last three years can join the Centre. No referral is needed and as there are no geographical restrictions, if you can get to Purley or Croydon University Hospital, we can support you and your loved ones.

“The Centre relies completely on the generosity of donors to keep going, and in these challenging economic times we are very thankful to have local community support.”

The Centre has local NHS recognition but does not receive any government funding, it is wholly funded by grants, voluntary donations, membership fees, legacies and fundraising events. As well as a Ruby Anniversary party staged in July, fundraising events this year have included an entertaining afternoon of Victorian Fashion and a relaxing Gong Bath with Reiki.

If you would like to help support the Centre please contact the Fundraising Team, fundraising@sechc.org.uk.

All the activities during Paint Purley Purple, which runs into October, will be flagged up on the SECHC website and their social media: @SECancerHelp on Twitter/X, there’s a Facebook page, and it is @SECHC_Purley on Instagram.

SECHC can be found in the Tesco Development, 2 Purley Road, Purley, CR8 2HA and has outreach services at Croydon University Hospital.

Support is now available six days a week. Massage, Hypnotherapy, Reiki, Aromatherapy, and Reflexology are just some of the therapies available.

Activities include yoga, Tai Chi, Pilates and arts and crafts.

SECHC offers family, telephone and individual counselling sessions and there are various support groups including specific ones for those with ovarian, bowel, prostate, or breast cancer. There are also monthly free legal advice sessions and occasional workshops on specialist topics such as nutrition.

For more information, call 020 8668 0974 or visit sechc.org.uk

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