We were honoured to welcome Weaver Vale MP Mike Amesbury, who was given a tour of the new Joshua Tree Support Centre by CEO Margaret Wright and Corporate Partnership Officer Helen Ritchie.

Mr Amesbury was so impressed by the facility he is dedicated to spreading the word about the charity, which is free-of-charge to families affected by childhood cancers. He said: “I was honoured to be shown around The Joshua Tree centre which supports the child and the whole family, in terms of their emotional wellbeing, during the most traumatic of times.

“At the moment there is an appointment system and rigorous cleansing regime in place to ensure the centre is Covid-safe, especially as children being treated for cancer are more vulnerable.

“My understanding is the general philosophy is to engender a non-prescriptive and bespoke approach. Parents - and members of the extended family - can turn up with or without their children. In normal times, they may want to talk to other parents going through a similar experience or just take time out to relax in the lounge or garden.

“Staff are there to keep the children occupied, from toddlers to teens, with lots of activities and games including a multi-sensory room, computer games and outdoor play area. There are structured sessions for families too, if that’s what they want, including counselling and workshops.

“How horrendous when a young person is diagnosed with cancer but how lucky we are to have this first class support centre on our doorstep.”

The charity are incredibly grateful to the local community, organisations and businesses for their donations and fund-raising efforts over the years. There is no statutory income so The Joshua Tree relies on these generous donations as well as grant-funding.