A centre which provides counselling, therapy or even just a cup of tea and a chat, supported by National Lottery Funding for Good Causes has become an invaluable lifeline for cancer sufferers in County Monaghan.
CROCUS (Cancer Resource of Caring Understanding and Support) was founded in late 2010 by a group of eight women who wanted to offer peer support, understanding and confidentiality in a caring and nurturing environment to those living with a cancer diagnosis.
Founder member, Mary Callery explains that meeting people at different stages of the cancer journey can transform your outlook.
“You are very vulnerable, fragile and frightened so having the support is amazing. You see somebody two or three years down the road of their cancer journey and you realise, ‘Oh that will be me’ so there is a very positive thing about coming into a group setting.”
Initially renting a hotel room, CROCUS moved onto rooms in a Wellness Centre in The Grange, and now, as demand for its services continues to grow, it occupies the entire building.
A €5,000 grant from the National Lottery Funding for Good Cause enabled the support group to create a welcoming multi-purpose room for formal talks and informal teas and chats.
The centre with an adjacent Sage Garden, currently provides support for up to 120 people with cancer and their family members including counselseling, talks and a range of therapies from reflexology to massage and Reiki.
“We are proud of what we have achieved here which wouldn’t be possible without the amazing support and generosity of the people of Monaghan,” says Mary, who is now well again.
“CROCUS eased my journey through cancer and made it doable and bearable.
“When somebody comes in to us first, you can see where they are at and it is lovely to watch them blossom.”