New cancer support centre planned for Dundee will be ‘at heart of community’

Plans have been unveiled to open a community cancer centre in one of the most deprived areas of Dundee.

City councillors will be asked on Monday to back the proposals for a Macmillan facility in Ardler.

The charity wants to establish the centre in the cafe adjoining the Ardler Complex.

Macmillan is providing funding of £176,938 for the project and councillors are being asked to provide the premises rent free for a three-year period.

In her report to the neighbourhood services committee, director Elaine Zwirlein said there were a growing number of people in Dundee affected by cancer of all types.

She added: “Dundee as a city has a higher than average incidence of all main cancers, except prostate, and a much higher than average mortality from cancer as compared with across the UK.

“In 2010, 5,200 people were estimated to be living with or beyond cancer in the city and this is expected to rise to 8,400 by 2030.

The cafe adjoining the Ardler Complex is the proposed location for a community cancer centre.

“There is currently a large, vacant but fully usable cafe area in Ardler Complex, in the heart of the community, with a library, meeting rooms, gyms and community garden all on site.

“Ardler is in the highest 10% for multiple deprivation in Scotland. This is an opportunity to develop, in conjunction with local people, services for people affected by cancer.

‘‘These services will be scoped and co-produced with local people and continually improved.

“It will bring together a number of key objectives as well as Macmillan indirect and direct services in Dundee, while offering a fantastic venue to provide community volunteering opportunities.

“Easily accessible services are required, particularly in more disadvantaged areas, to ensure equity of access and improved take-up.

“There is also a need for routine use of holistic needs assessment to connect people to the right support and services for them.

‘‘This needs to be able to be accessed within local communities, using the Dundee Macmillan improving cancer journey (ICJ) team as the vehicle.”

A spokeswoman for cancer chariuty Maggie’s said: “We are delighted people with cancer in Dundee will have access to more help, especially those from the Ardler area.

“We believe a new Macmillan facility will perfectly complement the essential support and expert advice the people of Dundee and Tayside already find at the Maggie’s Centre at Ninewells Hospital.”