Jane Scarth House- 25th Anniversary
Phil Scarth and Kim Fielder
Message from Phil Scarth
‘When Jane passed away in Sept 1994, we as family, relatives and friends were devastated but made the decision to set up the Jane Scarth Memorial Fund in order to support the various people and organisations that had helped Jane throughout her illness.
One of the charities that stood out was the Cancer Care Society providing emotional support to people and their families suffering from cancer.
Kim Fielder counselled Jane when she most needed it, so when Kim approached us and mentioned she had a wish to open a branch of the Cancer Care Society in Romsey we jumped at the prospect of helping her achieve her dream.
In 1995 the new Centre opened as part of the Cancer Care Society and we were honoured when Kim suggested the Centre should be called ‘Jane Scarth House’ in Jane’s memory.
Since then we as family, relatives and friends have continued to support the charity in every way possible.
Who’d have guessed the charity would be such a success 25 years on from those early days when we met with Kim.
Thank goodness for all the kindness, support, help and funding we’ve received from individuals, the community and businesses over the years in making the Centre so successful.
Now known as the Romsey Cancer Support Centre, Jane Scarth House and supported by Jane’s Charity Shop the Centre is growing in success. Newly refurbished, the Centre including The Loft is a testament to the hard work and generosity of everyone involved.
It’s very humbling when someone describes how the Centre has helped them through their own experience of cancer.
I’m extremely proud of everything we’ve achieved over the years and thank everyone for continuing to keep Kim’s dream and Jane’s memory alive.’
Phil Scarth, Trustee, Romsey Cancer Support Centre, Jane Scarth House
Romsey resident Jane Scarth, in whose memory the charity was named
Kim Fielder, Founder
‘25 years is a very long time, yet it feels like yesterday that I met with a few friends to explore the possibility of opening a centre where people affected by cancer could access free counselling, information and complementary therapies.
I was overwhelmed by the generosity, commitment and encouragement given by so many people, businesses and professionals, including funds raised by the Jane Scarth Memorial Appeal, set up and driven by Jane’s family. It was in appreciation of their pledge of financial support that the Centre was named Jane Scarth House.
From day one, the therapists and staff have been supported by a team of volunteers working as befrienders, fundraisers and in administrative roles. It is through their loyalty, dedication and enthusiasm that the Centre is held in such high regard.
I never imagined 25 years ago that I would be celebrating a Jubilee Year! So this is my opportunity to say ‘thank you’ to everyone who has made this possible. For the wonderful celebrations and fun times, for your steadfastness through the challenging times.
You have all contributed to making my vision a reality which continues to thrive in the safe hands of Romsey Cancer Support Centre’s Trustees, staff and volunteers.’
Kim Fielder with actor George Baker ‘Inspector Wexford’ at the opening in 1995.
Message from Bridget Brook, Chair
‘Living in Romsey since the charity was created, I’ve always followed the progress of this special Romsey-based charity but it was only six years ago when there was the danger of closure that I came forward to ask if I could be involved in any way. And what a six years it’s been …. forming an independent charity, employing staff, recruiting volunteers for many different roles, fundraising, opening a new shop, moving Centre venues and then 2020!!
How does the charity make a difference …. because being able to be present for people whose lives have been affected by cancer – whether they are the patient, the family or the carer – is something very special and necessary for many. And to be able to do all we do without charging the client remains a guiding principle of the charity.
In turn this means the individual and community fundraising, making these services possible, is extra-special. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you everyone for all your support over the last 25 years.
Please do continue to tell people about us, our counsellors remain as busy as always and our team are at the end of the phone. If you, or someone you know, needs us – please phone 01794 830374.’
Bridget Brook, Chair of Trustees, Romsey Cancer Support Centre, Jane Scarth House
Celebrating 25 years!
*Photographs by Malcom Smith, Photoflair, Romsey, in October*
Jane Scarth House Jubilee- Centre Managers past and present
Kim with current Jane Scarth House Centre Manager, Jackie Newman, looking at photos and records from over the last 25 years.
‘Jane Scarth House provides a feeling for me of warmth, of being welcomed, accepted and valued.’
Jackie Newman and Kim Fielder
‘Jane Scarth House is 25 years old in November and it was my privilege to be part of this much loved local charity for nearly half that time, initially as a Befriender, then Administrator and, for six years, the Centre Manager. I thoroughly enjoyed working there and was involved in two major changes during that time. The first was when the Centre, together with Jane’s, became the independent charity Romsey Cancer Support Centre, which was set up in 2014. The second was in 2017 when the Centre relocated from 39 to 37a The Hundred, as larger premises were needed due to increased client numbers. Both were instrumental in ensuring that the charity flourished and continued to support hundreds of people each year.
The team at Jane Scarth House is at the heart of the work that they do. I loved being part of such a special place and have treasured memories of my time there. I send everyone my warmest congratulations on their milestone achievement.’
Anne Campbell, Centre Manager 2013-2019
Befriending at Jane Scarth House
‘Having been a volunteer Befriender at Jane Scarth House from its beginnings 25 years ago, I have witnessed many ups and downs over the years. However, these downs have been overcome through the solidarity of Befrienders and staff working hard together to keep going. Likewise the ups have been very rewarding, namely the ability to support hundreds of cancer patients/ families through their hard times. Not giving up on them until they were ready to stand alone.
It has been a privilege for me to be part of this society. I will never forget our first meeting together which Kim our Founder had organised in her garden. I still have friends from that time and am still in touch with Kim.’
Carole Street, Befriender
‘Fun and Fundraising’
‘This is one of my memories over the last 25 years. Both myself and my husband Paul walked the Rotary Test Way to raise money for Jane Scarth House. The first time, l was President for the Inner Wheel of Romsey Test and Jane Scarth House was my charity for the year. The second time which is shown here in the photo was four years ago. All l can say is 26 miles is a long way!’
Elaine Grainger, Trustee and Chair of the Fundraising Committee, with husband Paul.
An Ode to “Team Jane Scarth”
My family said “Mum, you’re struggling, you need help .. don’t you see?”
My heart was breaking, my Dad dying, what was there for me?
I found just the place, now so special to me,
The Jane Scarth House team, the befrienders, their love and their tea!
It’s such a safe place to go when there were cracks in my heart,
Desperation, raw sadness …. Where should I start?
Then I met Paula – without her, who knows how I’d be
Without her listening, wise words, her care just for me.
Greeted each visit with a smile and a hug,
Taken upstairs, a comfy chair and fleecy rug,
Throughout Dad’s illness Paula guided with patience but never false hope
With her gentle kindness, she helped me to cope.
Paula helped me to tackle the unthinkable thought,
While I watched my dear Dad, the toll cancer wrought.
I’d come in to the Centre, distressed and so sad
But Paula helped me take stock and walk alongside Dad.
She taught me “Helen, it’s ok to feel sad”
She taught me “Helen, it’s ok to be mad”
“Just remember, just keep breathing” is what she would say,
So I’d keep breathing and manage to live for each day.
With such wisdom and guidance Paula, I think I’ve come through
Much of this recovery Paula, is a credit to you.
When sad memories and problems now sometimes appear,
I hear a voice “just keep breathing” loud and clear.
Martin and I want to support this wonderful place,
Our turn now to bring a smile to your face.
Dad’s funeral funds were sent here for you.
But there’s more to add, more yet to do.
Martin and Dad were brothers at Sir Bevis Lodge you see,
The Lodge knows how much you supported me,
So a cheque for £500 is enclosed right here,
To bring this special place some Christmas cheer.
We’ve applied for more – let us hope it comes through,
Some well-deserved funds through us to you.
I just need to close with a huge thank you to you,
Paula and the befrienders, My Jane Scarth crew.
Helen Ball- Romsey Resident