WESSEX Cancer Trust will celebrate the tenth birthday of its Waterside cancer support centre with a sea of ribbons.

The charity is inviting local people to come along to The Grove Garden on Saturday October 31 and add a ribbon to its memory tree to commemorate a decade since its opening.

June Richens founded the centre 18 months after losing her husband to a brain tumour. Determined that anyone living with cancer should have a local place to go to be listened to and cared for, she rallied the local community to create a haven which the Waterside area quickly took to its heart.

She said: “My husband David was fit and strong, so it came as a total shock when he was diagnosed with a brain tumour and we were told it was terminal. While he was very ill in hospital I was able to speak to a Macmillan nurse about my feelings. It was both a relief and a release. But I didn’t want to keep going back to the clinical environment of the hospital and so made an appointment to see my GP to see if there was any local support I could access. When he told me there wasn’t, I couldn’t believe it. There had to be, and I knew I had to do something about it. I was at my lowest ebb and most vulnerable, but I knew that if I didn’t do something about it now, I never would.

As we turn ten, I would like to give my heartfelt thanks to everyone who felt passionately that local people should have somewhere to go when they most need support.

Come along to the Grove Garden to tie a ribbon round a tree, perhaps with a message of support, your memories of the centre in the early days or in memory of someone.

Although we can’t be together in person, we hope the ribbons will be a poignant reminder of the togetherness of the Waterside community.”