The Fountain Centre was established in 1998 by three social/healthcare professionals Gail Maguire, Charlotte McDowell and Nicky Bracey, after a major fund-raising campaign led by Monica Rowland (now Simpson) who had lost her husband to cancer two years earlier (Monica is still on the Board of Trustees). In 2001 we became a registered charity. Through further fundraising initiatives and the donation of space from Royal Surrey County Hospital, the Fountain Centre was fully equipped with three treatment rooms, a lounge area, two counselling rooms, a kitchen and an office. In the first year of opening the centre had 150 visits per month and employed one full-time member of staff, with two working part-time and 25 volunteers.
Owing to the huge success of the Fountain Centre and increasing demand for our services, in 2003 we obtained funding for a major building project which provided the centre with a large creative arts room and extra office space. The Fountain Centre has constantly grown and developed, and in 2012 we opened an ‘annexe’ on Level A in St Luke’s Cancer Centre, next to the Radiotherapy Department. The garden we have developed alongside St Luke’s is a much-loved haven for patients, staff and visitors. And we are reaching out across Surrey, providing some therapeutic services at Frimley Park Hospital and Ashford St Peters.
There are now over 100 volunteers, the majority of whom are qualified complementary therapists and counsellors. Our team of administrative volunteers make sure the Centre runs smoothly. The team now manages 1500-2000 appointments per month. Volunteers form the core of the Fountain Centre’s existence and without their help the centre would be unable to operate. The team is growing, but there is still only one full-time member of staff.
In 2004 we received the prestigious Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services in recognition of the important work our team of volunteers deliver every day.