A NEW cancer support service centre has been opened at Bolton Hospice.

The Macmillan Cancer Information and Support service is up and running at Giles House on Chorley New Road.

The centre, open on a Tuesday and Thursday from 10am to 4pm, will provide information, advice and support to people affected by cancer.

Dr h.c. Leigh Vallance, Chief Executive of Bolton Hospice, said “Around 90 per cent of the patients we care for at Bolton Hospice have a cancer diagnosis, so having a Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Service on site here will be of great benefit to these patients, providing additional support throughout their illness.”

Dr Wirin Bhatiani, Chair of NHS Bolton Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “I am very pleased to see this first phase of Bolton’s new cancer information and support service opening.

"Around 1,350 new cases of cancer are diagnosed in our borough each year and this innovative new service will mean that patients and their families receive greater support through diagnosis, treatment, and beyond.

"It will also perform a wider community role, raising awareness of the importance of prevention and early diagnosis."

The development of the service could not have been possible without the massive involvement from local service users from local group Bolton People Affected by Cancer who have been instrumental in campaigning for a service in Bolton for nearly ten years.

One of the founder members is 66 year old Pam Livesey who has dedicated many hours over the years to getting a support service for people affected by cancer in Bolton.

Mrs Livesey was diagnosed with breast cancer 16 years ago and underwent a lumpectomy and radiotherapy. She was rediagnosed three years ago and after successful treatment is now in remission.

Mrs Livesey said: “It is lovely to see that our vision of having an information and support service for people affected by cancer in Bolton is finally coming to fruition. As a group we have worked so hard to get this on the local agenda so to see this first part of the service starting to open is wonderful.

“I know from personal experience how shocking it is to be diagnosed with cancer. Not everyone has the support network they need at such a terrible time and to have these new facilities starting in Bolton is brilliant.

“Just to have somewhere to get information and reassurance and simply to have someone to talk to is fantastic.”

Sue Summerfield, Manager of the Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Service, said “Undoubtedly there would not be this new service and plans for two others without the hard work and dedication of Pam and the other members of Bolton PAC.

“They have come so far and worked so hard to get this facility off the ground and it will make a real difference to local people affected by cancer.

Macmillan Cancer Support believes that nobody should face cancer alone – now people in Bolton won’t have to.”