Solaris Cancer Care finds new home in the Great Southern after more than a year homeless

Headshot of Shannon Smith
Shannon SmithAlbany Advertiser
Solaris Cancer Care’s Francis Lynch.
Camera IconSolaris Cancer Care’s Francis Lynch. Credit: Laurie Benson/Albany Advertiser

Solaris Cancer Care Great Southern has finally secured a place to call its own and can once again offer full services after 15 months of being homeless.

The organisation is set to officially reopen its doors next month at 91-93 Earl Street.

The centre had to reduce its free services for cancer patients after they were told they could no longer operate out of Albany Health Campus.

Doors closed in March last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but plans to reopen in October were scrapped when their space at the AHC was no longer available.

Since then, they have been on the hunt for new headquarters.

They were able to run a small number of services to one patient at a time at Albany Community Hospice, but they needed to find a permanent home.

Solaris Cancer Care WA chief executive Francis Lynch said it had been a tough search.

“We are very much looking forward to welcoming back all our cancer patients, carers, families and supporters who haven’t been able to connect with us since 2020,” he said.

“There will be a gradual rollout of our evidence-based complementary therapies as we establish ourselves in our new home.

“We remain extremely grateful to the people of Albany who have come out of their way, provided suggestions and leads, and supported us as we searched extensively for a new home.

“We know how important support can be in navigating the cancer journey and remain committed to providing an oasis for those with cancer to seek respite and comfort.”

Initially, the centre will open two days a week — Tuesday and Thursday.

The not-for-profit organisation combines modern medicine with evidence-based integrative supportive health care, and is now seeking qualified therapists and volunteers to help at the new location.

Solaris Great Southern manager Gillian Robertson said she hoped the centre could move forward.

“After a year of not having a home, many impacted by cancer cannot wait to be back and we want to be in a position to provide our services to everyone who walks in,” she said.

“We currently have therapies like massage available, but we would like to have volunteers, from yoga to pilates, reiki, healing touch and more who can help us expand our level of services in the region.”

The centre is open to cancer patients and their carers and families, as well as cancer survivors.

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