Waterford Solas cancer group extends services to Dungravan

Waterford City-based Solas Cancer Support Centre is to extend its services to Dungarvan, on a one-day per week trial period, from next month.

The centre will offer support for cancer sufferers, family members, and carers every Monday at the Dungarvan Alternative Clinic on Main Street.

Solas Cancer Support Centre manager Tracy McDaid says the move will enable Solas to “assess the area’s requirements, with a view eventually to expanding the service full time.”

The initiative comes amidst belief that many cancer sufferers in west Waterford find the 150km round trip to the city too daunting. “Of the over 2,500 people who came to us in the five years we have been in Waterford, just 170 travelled from the west of the county,” says Ms McDaid.

Solas, which is predominantly community funded, engages over 90 staff in Waterford, 60 of whom are volunteers and work-scheme staff.

The centre opens weekdays 9am-5pm with a 9pm close on Wednesdays. It provides free, hour-long counselling, relaxation therapies, and group support services in an atmosphere where clients can also simply talk things over, and relax.

While working under the banner of the South-East Cancer Foundation, clients are accepted from outside the jurisdiction.

The service also strives to ensure that clients have access to the best medical treatment and help towards early diagnoses. It further supports participation in studies to improve cancer research and treatment outcomes and it campaigns towards ensuring cancer services in the South-East are both world class and accessible to all.

Solas will replicate its Waterford service in Dungarvan, albeit on a smaller scale, with treatments to include counselling, group therapy, yoga, and meditation, alongside touch therapies such as massage and reflexology. Legal advice and other related services will also be available.

The Dungarvan branch will avail of contracted therapists, voluntary staff and counsellors from across the west Waterford region.

“Our first, important point of contact would be filled by a volunteer receptionist, as happens in Waterford,” says Ms McDaid. “Volunteers typically work a four-hour shift per week.”

While Waterford operates on a drop-in basis, the manager recommends Dungarvan clients arrange appointments in advance.

Solas will commence its Dungravan service at 12 Main Street from Monday, September 5.

Enquiries to 051-3046044. See also www.solascentre.ie


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