The Hummingbird Centre Logo
Registered Charity Number 1156595
The Hummingbird Centre
Grange Courtyard
Station Road

Launton
Bicester

OX26 5DX
01869 244 244
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March 2021

Hummingbird Centre - support continues

A year ago, after the shock of the country being put into lockdown, a Bicester based charity had soon adapted its services to keep in touch with users.Thanks to social media and networking platforms, people with cancer and their families can still get vital support from the Hummingbird Centre.

Hands-on therapies such as massage, beauty treatments and face-to-face contact had to stop, but as the weeks of lockdown turned into months, a host of activities sprang up online and are thriving. These include group Chats with Jan, meditation, counselling, Sunday service and well-being hints and tips.

In true Hummingbird Centre style, 2020 actually saw an expansion of its services to offer counselling to people across Berkshire and Buckinghamshire. And even while technically closed, the centre still managed to win two awards - the Central and England Prestige Award for a cancer support service, and the Macmillan Cancer Support Standard of Excellence Award.

But like many other charities itsfund-raising activities were severely curtailed in 2020 and last year’s income was down by £40,000.  Unfortunately, the centre does not qualify for any Government grants.

Founder Mechelle Harris said: “Firstly I want people to know we are still open and we are here to support anyone affected by cancer, and that includes confidential support for professional staff.

“We have continued to offer counselling via a range of online platforms, and a safe place if people need to talk, and as always all our services are free.”

During the past 12 months the Hummingbird Centre has been a lifeline to parents whose children have been impacted by cancer. It has been able to support 30 children with one-to-one horse therapy sessions, and a few weeks ago launched a children’s sing-along.Work has also taken place to allow some medical therapies to take place in person in a COVID-19 secure way. These will begin again once restrictions ease.

Mechelle said: “It has been a tough year for everyone, but we wanted to make sure we were still there for people and have adapted some of the usual face-to-face Hummingbird activities to online versions to help people get through these difficult months.

“On a positive note, despite being in lockdown three times and living with restrictions, a lot has been happening behind the scenes at the Hummingbird Centre, we have expanded our counselling service to neighbouring counties and we have welcomed our first dedicated children’s counsellor.”

As spring approaches the team is throwing itself into a mammoth fund-raising task to ensure vital services can continue and others resume when it is safe to do so.

To kick it off eight members of the counselling team and Mechelle have pledged to run 560 miles in March to raise cash. Read more: https://www.gofundme.com/f/miles-for-the-hummingbird

While Oxfordshire based digital healthcare research consultancy Vitaccess has announced the Hummingbird Centre as its charity of the year, and café Bicester Bean has continued its fundraising for the charity.

Anyone interested in supporting the Hummingbird centre should call 01869 244244.

 

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