A cancer charity that helps cancer patients from Northamptonshire has set up a JustGiving page to raise more than £700,000 in ten days if it is to secure the 'perfect, forever' home before the sale of the property goes to sealed bids on June 21.
The Hummingbird Cancer Support and Therapy Centre, based in Bicester, has been helping people, and their families, suffering the effects of cancer since 2014 and now welcomes thousands of referrals from Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Northamptonshire through its doors every year.
Sadly, the list of those in need of support from the centre is ever-increasing, and its current home at Grange Courtyard in Launton can no longer provide the space the charity so desperately needs.
With a very particular set of requirements for its new permanent home, The Hummingbird Centre finally identified the perfect property just down the road in Middleton Stoney. But now the Cancer Support and Therapy Centre must raise an extraordinary amount of money in a matter of days if it is to successfully secure to perfect property to be able to support those who need it most.
Having grown from just one counsellor to 35, plus 12 therapists and over 75 volunteers operating across three buildings in just eight years, the charity now offers a range of services, including counselling, holistic treatments, activities and even equine therapy.
If they were to secure it, the new property would enable The Hummingbird to accommodate the horses as well as its other services, and create a brand-new children’s centre, as the former restaurant and residential building also benefits from seven acres of paddock land.
Commenting on the desperate bid to raise funds, Mechelle Harris, founder of The Hummingbird Centre, said: “We have never before asked the public for monetary support but sadly, we are under severe time constraints to secure the property, and with the effects of Covid we have no choice but to seek help to secure the long-term future of a very well-loved and needed service within the community.”
Mechelle founded The Hummingbird Centre following her own experience of caring for her father during his battle with cancer after being diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia in 2006.
Mechelle said: “After making a visit to the Leicester Royal Infirmary one Tuesday he suggested that we go for a cuppa'. This is when he asked me to make two promises, neither of which I could say no to. Upon his death I was to create something good and the second was to pay the bill as he hadn’t brought his wallet! He passed away in his sleep the following Sunday. The Hummingbird Centre is my fulfilment of that promise and I think he would be really proud of all that we have achieved.”
The Hummingbird Centre is a registered charity with seven trustees and has received an MBE for services to volunteering, having helped thousands of patients and their families over the eight years it has supported the local community.
The charity’s JustGiving page can be found here.