Marie’s legacy of service to cancer families to expand in Doncaster

Marie Caygill
Marie Caygill
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A vital service to people who have, or are affected by cancer, is to be expanded, in memory of the Rossington woman who founded it.

The Doncaster Cancer Support Drop-In Centre was set up the late Marie Caygill of Rossington in the Holmescarr Centre in Rossington, in a bid to bring together charities and groups connected to cancer, so that people could get any support they need quickly and easily.

In November last year the Centre moved to the Ragusa Centre on Ragusa Drive, Rossington, courtesy of St Leger Homes, because it had more space.

Extra drop-in sessions are to be held to allow more people to access the service at times to suit themselves.

Marie’s sister Dawn Dowling, 37, is involved with running the initiative, with a committee of volunteers.

She said: “We realised the times we held drop-in sessions didn’t suit everyone due to different circumstances, so we are holding afternoon sessions along with our evening group.

“This is about getting available help and information all under one roof. We can help people who have been struck by cancer themselves, or it’s a member of the family, by helping with issues around finance and benefits, Macmillan nursing, counselling, befriending and so much more.

“We work closely with other charities such as Look Good Feel Good in Sheffield so have all sorts of information at our disposal.

“Typically, people will come and be welcomed at the door, then sit down with someone for a chat to find out how we can best help them. We have also provided one-off payments to people for added expenses they may face, for example for the right kind of underwear following mastectomy, that can be very expensive. Or travel or parking fees that aqre mounting up and causing worry.”

Drop-in sessions were set up by Marie originally on the third Tuesday of each month from 6pm to 8pm and these will continue. But additional sessions will now take place on the first Thursday of each month from 11am to 1pm at the Ragusa Centre.

“People do travel from far outside Rossington to come and see us,” said Dawn. “We have had meetings with over 50 people in attendance. Our leaflets and posters are spread about as far as Sheffield and we are often asked for more.

“It shows that we are providing a necessary service. When Marie was first diagnosed with cancer she wasn’t quite sure where to turn to find out about or access what she might need, and we try to lift that worry from people with our support, from talking about issues to more practical help.”

The Drop In Centre hopes to expand its services further afield in the near future with sessions in different villages and Doncaster centre. Committee members are being supported by St Leger Homes who are helping by providing venues free of charge.

Anyone wanting to find out more about the Centre can contact Dawn on 07983108546.