Royal Tunbridge Wells’s King Charles the Martyr Lodge of Mark Master Masons were pleased to present a cheque for £450 to the town’s Pickering Cancer Drop-In Centre to fund improvements.

The donation was made up of £250 from the Lodge and £200 from the Kent Mark Benevolent Fund as part of the matched-funding scheme.

Pictured (l-r) W.Bro. Les Chapman, Worshipful Master and Charity Steward, Polly Taylor BEM, Founder and Trustee of the Centre and Bro Eric Hickmott, member of King Charles the Martyr Lodge.

The centre is a self-funding registered charity and was established by a group of cancer patients, who recognised the need to have somewhere to go, to relax and talk with others in a similar situation. They also realised that families, friends and carers needed a place to find information and talk freely, without burdening the patient or each other.

Most people are affected by cancer during their lives and many find this a traumatic and lonely experience. The centre aims to help and support anyone going through the emotional upset of cancer, from diagnosis onwards, be they patients, their partners, children, friends, or carers.

They offer a safe, relaxing, friendly environment where mutual support and information can be found, without the pressure of appointments or time restraints, offering a wide range of complementary therapies, such as reflexology, reiki, healing and massage; also nutritional advice, yoga and counselling. All are available free of charge.

The Pickering Centre is run entirely by volunteers who give their time as and when they can or on a regular basis.