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Our staff, volunteers and those impacted by cancer in the South West region have come together to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of Dot’s Place, Cancer Council WA’s cancer support centre located in Bunbury.

Our Cancer Information and Support Services Director, Melanie Marsh, said it was thanks to the generosity of the Smith family that the centre was established.

“Back in 2011, the first discussions occurred about creating a central regional hub for cancer support services in the community,” Melanie said.

“Bunbury was seen as an ideal site due to the projected population growth, serviceability of the South West area, and a review of cancer prevalence, incidence and mortality, which all demonstrated high growth.”

She said at the same time Cancer Council WA was approached by their very generous benefactors, Dot and Allan Smith, who wished to invest in services for cancer patients and their families in regional WA.

“The Smith’s had the idea of purchasing a building for regional patients and their families to take respite from the clinical world of cancer,” she said.

“Momentum and early discussion with local service providers garnered a great deal of support for increased Cancer Council WA services in the region.

“In addition, we received a positive response from the local council regarding the positive benefits to the community, so in December 2011, the Smith’s purchased 62 Forrest Ave in Bunbury, and the centre was officially opened one year later on 5 Dec 2012.”

She said the building and the service model was based on ‘Maggie’s Centres; a successful cancer support centre model in the UK that provides a home-like atmosphere.

“Dot’s Place Bunbury is located close to cancer treatment centres but has a strong home-like, non-clinical environment with gardens, plenty of light and space that provides a warm and welcoming environment,” she said.

“The premises offers the quiet, homelike, peaceful surroundings required for our services which aim to lessen the impact of cancer for our clients, as well as raise awareness of the importance of cancer support and prevention in communities throughout regional WA.

“Opportunities to expand services in any region do not occur often, so we are incredibly grateful to Dorothy and Allan for the opportunity this generosity has given us.

“The positive response from the local community, council and services providers has ensured the ongoing success of Dot’s Place Cancer Support Centre in Bunbury.”

We offer a wide range of support services and information, for those impacted by cancer. We provide support to more than 32,000 West Australians impacted by cancer every year.

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