Helen Rollason Cancer Charity

Helen Rollason Cancer Charity

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The Helen Rollason cancer charity was founded in 1999 and is the legacy of the BBC broadcaster and fundraiser Helen Rollason.

Helen fought an inspirational battle with cancer much of it in the public eye but died in 1999 aged 43. During her treatment she became aware of the need for more support to be available for those living with the illness. “Good quality of life while coping with cancer is the most important gift a sick person can receive; it should be available for everyone” And so, this vision led to the foundation of our Support Centres in her name.

Our centres offer a free range of FREE support and therapies to help people living with cancer.

We support men and women with all types of cancer at all stages whether newly diagnosed or longer term , throughout treatment and after treatment is completed.

Our support centres in Chelmsford, Southend, Bishop’s Stortford and North Middlessex hospital, London provide a friendly and relaxing environment where cancer patients can go with their families, friends and carers. Clients can talk through and problems and issues and enjoy therapies that work together with their medical treatment and reduce stress.

We also offer a range of extra beneficial activities including including Pilates, Art and Craft Groups, Look Good Feel Better Workshops and Support Groups.



Telephone01245 380719

Mobile07913 734274

Email[email protected]


AddressYvonne Stewart House
The Street
Hatfield Peverel


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Mid Essex Cancer Support Centre now open!

We are very pleased to announce that our Mid Essex Cancer Support Centre in Hatfield Peverel has officially opened to clients!

Building work commenced in January 2019 with the ground floor being converted into a purpose-built Cancer Support Centre. The first floor continues to accommodate the Finance, Fundraising and Administrative teams.

To save on costs the teams and our loyal volunteers have continued to come into the office and have remained on site putting up with the noise, dust and disruption of a building site.

Pat Hume, Support Centre Manager said “We are very proud of our new Support Centre which provides complementary therapies including reflexology and aromatherapy, as well as counselling and support groups to those affected by cancer. For more information about our upcoming Open Days see below; we look forward to welcoming you!”

Open Days

The Fundraising Team are busy organising a programme of open days to welcome the local community, clients, supporters and volunteers to the new Support Centre. Our objective has always been to provide a calming oasis for our clients, a place where you can have enjoyable, relaxing and calming treatments in the knowledge that you are not alone – that everyone who comes through our door is experiencing the same feelings as you and facing the same difficulties.

Representatives from the Helen Rollason Cancer Charity will be attending the open days and will be on hand to answer questions about the Support Centre and refreshments will be available. 

Wednesday 2nd October; 1pm – 5pm
Thursday 3rd October; 9.30am – 1.30pm
Friday 4th October; 4pm – 8pm
Saturday 5th October; 10am – 3pm

Venue; Mid Essex Support Centre; Yvonne Stewart House, The Street, Hatfield Peverel, Essex, CM3 2EH.

For more information please call 01245 380719 or email [email protected] 

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“I will be forever grateful to the Helen Rollason Cancer Charity.”

Clare Thickbroom from Wickford was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2018; here she tells us how the Helen Rollason Cancer Charity was instrumental in her treatment. 

Being a busy mum of two and commuting to London every day for my job as a PA, it had been a long week. The kids were out, and my husband Stacy was away for the weekend, so I decided to make the most of the opportunity and have a long soak in a relaxing bath. It was then I noticed a small half pea sized lump between my left breast and underarm; I knew the dangers, so I had to get it checked.

I was fortunate that my employers Charterhouse, provided all employees with private healthcare, so I was able to see a GP the following afternoon. Instantly they wanted to refer me to the Spire Wellesley Hospital in Southend, close to our home in Wickford. I met my consultant Miss Gray who immediately gave me a mammogram, ultrasound and the decision was made to take a biopsy. Four lumps were found between my breasts and underarms, two on each side. Three of them were found to be cysts but one was cancerous.

Later an MRI scan along with a blood test confirmed I had Grade three invasive HER2-positive breast cancer. Within two weeks of seeing the GP they had removed the cancer, one lymph node and we were able to start treatment. Everything had happened so fast I felt it wasn’t happening to me; Stacy came with me to every appointment and our children Sophie, 14 and Samuel, 11 were a huge support, as was my wonderful brother Kevin. I wanted to stay strong for them all but knew the impending chemotherapy and radiotherapy were going to prove testing.

My Oncologist, Mr Algurafi arranged for me to be fitted with an implantable port (also known as a “port-a-cath”) which was fitted underneath the skin and attached to a vein in my chest to feed the drugs directly into the bloodstream; an incredible ground-breaking technology in the fight against cancer.

On 26th November 2018, I started my six cycles of chemotherapy; the side effects weren’t nice but not unbearable. I made sure I got outside at least once a day during the treatment; fresh air was invaluable to fight the fatigue, nausea, indigestion, sore mouth and neuropathy. Stacy and the kids helped me to stay positive and motivated me to keep going and sometimes even a short walk along the river opposite my home was all I needed. Sadly, my eyelashes and quite a lot of my hair fell out, even with the use of the Cold Cap, but I was determined to look on the bright side; I could certainly rock a hat!

Next to endure was radiotherapy; I was fortunate that I had caught the cancer in its early stages. The next treatments brought on an early menopause but on 2nd May 2019 I rang the bell at GenesisCare, Chelmsford to signify the end of my cancer treatments; what a wonderful day that was. Throughout, we had all tried to smile, laugh and stay positive but the feeling of relief when I knew that I could soon return to normal life was inconceivable.

It was while I was enduring my radiotherapy treatments that I was first made aware of the Helen Rollason Cancer Charity. Therapist Jo gave me reflexology treatments which helped in relieving my side effects. Everyone in the Support Centres have been so lovely and welcoming, with a smile on their face and a cup of tea and a friendly ear when I’ve needed it. I was over the moon when Charterhouse Charitable Trust established by my employers, Charterhouse donated £5,000 to the charity, having helped not only me but another colleague called Helen the year before who has been in remission since January 2018.

With my treatments now finally over, the only medication I have is Herceptin injections once every three weeks for the next year and Tamoxifen (hormone therapy) for 10 years. Life and our little family are finally getting back on track and with thanks to the Helen Rollason Cancer Charity, and all the amazing care and support shown by my chemo nurses, oncologist, radiologists, consultant and doctors, I am feeling more like myself every day; I will never forget the care they have shown, and I will be forever grateful to the charity.

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Moment Newsletter Issue 49

Moment 49

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