DEPUTY Prime Minister Nick Clegg visited a life-line Sheffield cancer charity - declaring it a place the whole city should be proud of for the care and support it provides patients and their families.
The Hallam MP was a guest at the Cavendish Cancer Care Centre, on Wilkinson Street, Broomhall, where he enjoyed lunch with staff, volunteers and trustees and found out more about the vital work supporting people affected by cancer.
The Lib Dem leader said: “This is something Sheffield should be extremely proud of.
“It is the first time I have visited the centre but it is somewhere I have known about for a long time and somewhere I have wanted to come to for ages.
“It is obviously providing the most invaluable support to people who are often confused, feeling vulnerable, and feeling scared.
“It does something that sounds simple, but which is incredibly important, which allows patients to be supported and treated as a human being.
“They help deal with the emotional and psychological effects of a cancer diagnosis which are just as important and as prominent to patients and their families as the physical side.”
David Simons, founder and life president of the charity, said he was thrilled to welcome Mr Clegg and have the opportunity to share their good work with him.
Mr Simons added: “We wanted to let him know what we do here, and also look at the future relationships between the Government, the NHS, and charities such as ours and how they can be built.”
Charity board member Lady Anne Neill raised the question of funding - highlighting the centre receives just £30,000 from primary care trust NHS Sheffield each year towards an annual budget of £500,000.
She told him: “It would be helpful to receive some more NHS money - not only towards our budget, but also to prove to the public and voluntary sector that we are rubber stamped for the unique service we provide.”
Mr Clegg replied that, although he could not make promises in terms of individual funding requests, he hoped NHS reforms would help organisations like Cavendish Cancer Care.
“It’s exactly this kind of thing that should be captured by a more holistic approach to where money goes than ever before,” he said.
“The arrangements we are introducing will mean that it is the people who are seeing the patients who will be making the decisions about where funding goes.
“I hope that will benefit projects like the Cavendish centre because obviously any GP can see the massive benefits it has for patients.”
Services on offer at the facility include counselling, relaxation therapies like massage and reflexology, and healing therapies like Reiki and acupuncutre.
Dallas McDade first came to the centre to take part in art therapy following her battle with breast cancer.
The 42-year-old from Hillsborough was so grateful for the support she received she began volunteering with the charity.
She said: “It’s nice that people want to know about what we do.
“I didn’t know about the centre until I became ill, so the more people that know it about it as a resource, the more it can be relied on if that time comes.”