DIY SOS Call From Cancer Centre

By Sarah Edwards at

A cancer support centre is calling on the Bicester building community to join a DIY SOS style project to help complete its expansion.

The Hummingbird Centre has taken on a third unit and is appealing to local builders to donate their time and help transform a former office into a holistic haven – in just one weekend.

Trades people are needed between Friday, July 5, to Monday, July 8, to install lighting, new walls and a doorway, plumbing, electrics, flooring and decorating.

It is hoped the new therapy centre, based at Grange Mews, Station Road, Launton, near Bicester, will be unveiled to guests on the Tuesday morning.

The Hummingbird Centre offers people affected by, or living with cancer, support, friendship, guidance, counselling, an array of activities, and an assortment of Complementary Therapies and beauty treatments.

Founder Mechelle Harris said: “This is the final link in our expansion plan.  At the moment the holistic treatment areas are in the same building as our communal and meeting areas so it can be noisy and busy at times.

“We want to create something that’s peaceful and calm for our guests. The holistic centre will become a major part of what we do at The Hummingbird Centre, so to have a dedicated building will be wonderful, especially for our guests.

“It will mean we can offer much more to people affected by cancer and their families. They will be able to enjoy a host of complementary therapies and beauty treatments run by our amazing team of volunteers and we can’t wait to open it.

“These vital services benefit the people of Bicester and surrounding villages massively and are all free. The Hummingbird Centre relies 100 per cent on donations and volunteers to enable it to operate as every penny we raise goes back into the centre.”

As part of the DIY SOS project, the current therapy rooms will be transformed into a counselling room and a private room where visitors can get some ‘me time’.

Fiona Wastie, who initially came to the centre as a visitor and now volunteers there, said The Hummingbird Centre had been a lifeline after she was treated for lung cancer.

She said: “I had a major operation to remove a large part of my lung and afterwards was in a bad place emotionally.

“I came here and Mechelle took my hand and she told me I won’t let you go. It gave me my life back. This place is so important and so very special.”

This latest initiative marks a major expansion for the centre, which was set up in 2014 after a promise Mechelle made to her late father Raymond Hurcombe to create something good out of their loss as a family.

So far, The Hummingbird Centre has supported more than 16,500 people and is very much part of the Community.

Anyone who can help should email mechelle@thehummingbirdcentre.org or call 01869 244244.

Photography by Ian Jones