Archive for April, 2010

You may have read previously on this blog about the Love Balls charity event I was involved with. This was to support the Orchid male cancer charity, and one of our aims was to raise awareness.

Often the male cancers are not talked about – men may feel embarrassed to do so. So it’s time to change that. Men are encouraged by Orchid to check and get checked.


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The Beacon Centre

Cancer Treatment Centre

This week I was fortunate to be taken to visit a new cancer treatment centre. The Beacon Centre was opened at Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton only last year. I was extremely impressed both with the facilities available and the wonderful environment that has been created there.

One thing that really stood out was the attention to detail. Flooring changes in order to define seating areas from walkways. Natural light and natural materials are used as much as possible. The colours change from one department to the next, so you’re never uncertain if you’re in the right area. And family members have not been forgotten. There is comfortable seating, somewhere to get a drink and have a chat, an information centre with a member of staff to help answer questions (away from where the treatments are given) and even an overnight stay room for family members when needed. Feedback is also encouraged through an easy-to-use touch screen, and responses to previous feedback are right there for you to read.

Because the Beacon Centre is new, all these features were able to be incorporated in the design phase, but many of them can be used elsewhere. The Beacon Centre was recently awarded MacMillan’s Quality Environment Mark, the only treatment centre to receive the award at that time. I hope that other centres will also apply for the award in time.

I’d like to hear of your experience of other cancer treatment centers. What details made your time there the best it could be, and what could have made things easier?

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Would you like to change the definition of a celebrity?

I wanted to share this interview with you, which I was asked to do by a website called Celebrity Dialogue. It made me think, not only because the questions were very probing, but because of the name of the website. I’ve never thought of myself as a celebrity, or had any desire to become one. But it seems the definition used by this website includes people aiming to put something back and make a contribution – and I’ll definitely put my hand up for that.
Now I’m wondering, what would be your perfect definition of a celebrity – in an ideal world? Originally the word meant, ‘one who is celebrated’, so maybe we can go back to that. Is there someone whose life you’d like to celebrate? Tell us something about them and we’ll celebrate them too.

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