Friends Of The Cancer Centre

Friends of the Cancer Centre is a charity that supports cancer patients in Northern Ireland. They provide financial support, complementary therapy, exercise and relaxation classes, social work services, physical activity coaching, accommodation, homely comforts, refreshments, wheelchairs, patient gardens, and gifts for patients to improve patient care, comfort, and experience.

Our work focuses on four key areas – patient care, patient comfort, research and cancer awareness – supporting cancer services throughout Northern Ireland.

We know that coming for cancer treatment can be daunting, but we are here to make things a little bit easier.

Financial Support

For many people, a cancer diagnosis can have a knock-on effect on several areas in their lives, and in order to receive the treatment they need, they may have to reduce their working hours or stop working altogether. As a result, patients might be faced with a dramatic reduction in their income.

To help patients deal with the extra costs that cancer can bring about, Friends of the Cancer Centre’s Patient Grants Programme is available for anyone who is currently undergoing treatment at the Northern Ireland Cancer Centre in Belfast or the North West Cancer Centre in Derry / Londonderry. We work closely with the social work teams to try to ensure that we can provide a helping hand for any patient if they need it. This is not a hand out in our eyes; it’s a helping hand. That’s just what friends do.

If you are in need of support, ask your treatment team to contact the hospital’s social work team who will be able to apply to Friends of the Cancer Centre for financial support on your behalf.

Complementary Therapy

Our four therapists offer care to patients by providing clinical aromatherapy, reflexology and adapted massage treatments. We also have a range of online support available on our YouTube channel here.

For further information regarding complementary therapy treatments, please contact the Belfast Trust Cancer Support Service on 028 9615 0077 or at

Exercise and relaxation classes

Exercise can be a great way for patients to alleviate some of the stresses and side effects of treatment. There are Pilates, Yoga & Tai Chi classes available weekly for patients and their carers. In-person classes take place at the Macmillan Support and Information Centre, and you can attend for a total of twelve weeks. Call the Belfast Trust Cancer Support Service for more info on 028 9615 0077.

Physical Activity Coach

Joe, our Physical Activity Coach, works to support patients before, during, and after treatment to remain as active, fit, and healthy as possible. Joe offers twelve-week group or one-to-one sessions with tailored support. During these sessions, Joe works to help patients increase their fitness, strength, posture, mobility, and flexibility. Joe has also developed online resources to support patients which you can check out here.

Homely comforts Many patients and families are faced with long stays in the Cancer Centre and we are here to make sure that their stay is as comfortable as possible. Our refurbished day rooms in the Cancer Centre are a haven away from busy wards and hospital beds where you can relax in a soft chair, watch some television, enjoy a cup of tea or simply chat to family and friends in a more homely environment.

Time for Tea

Thousands of people attend the NI Cancer Centre or North West Cancer Centre each day, and it can often be a long wait for treatment. To help pass the time, Friends of the Cancer Centre provides over 50,000 complimentary cups of tea or coffee each year. It’s not a lot, but it makes a big difference.

Patient gardens

Hidden in the middle of the Cancer Centre is an oasis for patients and staff away from the hustle and bustle of treatment and appointments. The gardens provide an escape where patients can enjoy some peace and quiet while surrounded by beautiful flowers and plants. Each year, Friends of the Cancer Centre purchases the flowers, plants and some of the ornamental features in the garden and they are maintained by volunteers.

Gifts for patients

Life doesn’t stop for patients undergoing treatment and many will find themselves celebrating their birthday, Christmas Day, or even getting married, at the Cancer Centre. With the help of staff on the wards, we buy our patients a gift to help them mark their special day. In the past we have helped a couple get married in the hospital, given gifts to young patients on their 18th birthday, and even sent Santa to the wards on Christmas Eve to deliver gifts.

Doing it for the kids

Friends of the Cancer Centre also works to support children and young people attending the Northern Ireland Cancer Centre for Radiotherapy treatment. We offer the therapeutic radiographers a dedicated fund to provide a small gift for young patients coming for treatment. This can be a distraction for worried little minds, as well as helping them and their families know we are thinking of them.

Supporting local cancer research

Friends of the Cancer Centre works in partnership with the NI Cancer Trials Network and Patrick G Johnston Centre for Cancer Research, Queens’ University Belfast, to provide vital infrastructure for clinical trials in Northern Ireland. This ensures that patients have access to the most innovative trials, helping to find new treatments and improve quality of life for those affected by cancer.

Cancer awareness

Friends of the Cancer Centre’s Breast Bud and Talking Balls campaigns have helped over 50,000 people across Northern Ireland take the proactive step to become more breast cancer and testicular cancer aware. If you would like to get involved, order your FREE self-check tools, with a step by step guide to self-checking and what signs and symptoms to look out for, on the charity’s website.

How to get connected with Friends Of The Cancer Centre

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Phone Number:

028 90 699393

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