East Antrim ‘saddened’ as 1 in 3 Cancer Support announces closure

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East Antrim-based 1 in 3 Cancer Support has announced it is to cease operating at the end of this month.

Established in 2008, the charity has helped hundreds of people living with cancer and was recently behind the provision of a therapy garden at Eden, on the outskirts of Carrickfergus.

In a statement, founders Karen McMeekan and Janice Ferguson said: “It is with great sadness that we inform you all that after 13 years of supporting people affected by cancer in our community, 1 in 3 are closing its books at the end of February.

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“All funds and assets will be given to a like-minded cancer charity under the guidance of our solicitor for transparency.

Co-founder Karen McMeekan.Co-founder Karen McMeekan.
Co-founder Karen McMeekan.

“We want to thank all of our volunteers and all of our local suppliers for their service; also the 1 in 3 supporters and sponsors for their constant fundraising. Without you all we would not have lasted so long. ✊️

“We are so very proud of our achievements and of the fact that together we have helped hundreds of people in our community affected by cancer and its treatments, both financially and mindfully.”

The founders expressed particular gratitude for the efforts of fellow volunteers.

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“1 in 3 could not have achieved any of this without the direction of our amazing supportive committee and chairperson, Isobel, Heather, Liz, LeeAnn and Jill. Thank you.️

Co-founder Janice Ferguson.Co-founder Janice Ferguson.
Co-founder Janice Ferguson.

“1 in 3 would like to thank their past committee members without whom they would not have survived (in order of beginning to end): David and Carol Marcus, Donna Slater, Cathy Gallagher, Colleen Macauley, Edith McAdam,

Moira Foster and Sharon Herron.”

Based at Eden allotments in Carrickfergus, the charity’s therapy garden is designed as a place for those living with cancer to rest and reflect. Developed last year during restrictions around social distancing, it was completed in staggered shifts by committee members and volunteers,

The founders higlighted this too in their statement of appreciation: “Also, the outstanding work that was done in the 1 in 3 Cancer Support therapy garden is down to Edith McAdam, Moira Foster, Tom McAdam and Steve Ferris. Artwork by local artist Janet Crymble

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The charity's therapy garden at Eden, Carrickfergus.The charity's therapy garden at Eden, Carrickfergus.
The charity's therapy garden at Eden, Carrickfergus.

“There are too many others to name for fear of forgetting someone. Their work from turning an overgrown plot of land into a beautiful garden oasis was indeed phenomenal and for this 1 in 3 are so very grateful.

“Thank you to everyone who contributed in some way to 1 in 3 helping us support people in our community affected by cancer and its treatments.”

Following the decision to close, the charity’s Facebook page has been inundated with messages from grateful members of the public who have availed of its services.

One person posted: “So sad, be proud Janice Ferguson, Karen McMeekan, for founding an amazing group, helping so many in our local community.”

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Another stated: “Thank you for all you’ve done in the community and especially for the counselling service you provided.”

Click here to read: Cancer support group developing therapy garden as space to ‘rest and reflect’

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