Gary Kelly Cancer Support Centre.
The mission of the Gary Kelly Cancer Support Centre is to create a safe and holistic environment. To preserve the dignity and privacy of the person at all times. To provide counselling, information and psychological support for people affected by cancer and those who care for them free of charge.
The Gary Kelly Cancer Support Centre is situated in Georges Street, Drogheda, Co. Louth. It is a support centre for people living with cancer, their families and thoses who care for them. The centre offers holistic and complementary therapies, education and psychological support which is nowadays regarded as part of standard support for people with cancer. The centre is open to people on the island of Ireland. All therapies and supports are free of charge.
The centre is committed to providing a safe and holistic sanctuary of reflection, retreat and recovery. The centre is a non-referral service and an appointment is not necessary.
Gary Kelly was a professional footballer at Leeds United F.C. and has represented Ireland at International level. Gary donated three quarters of a million euro, part proceeds of his Testimonial match held 7th may 2002 at Leeds United F.C., to a cancer related project in Drogheda, and a quarter of a million to a teenage Cancer Trust in Leeds. Many local businesses in Drogheda and surrounding area matched Gary’s generosity by donating time, material and labour to the project.
Gary said, the memory of Mandy (Gary’s sister who died from breast cancer in 1998) prompted him to put something back from his successful career in soccer.
“I have been very fortunate through my playing career to be able to help in some small way to provide support for people who have been diagnosed with cancer” he said. “This centre will provide the support for people with cancer and their families that i dearly wish will be someday available to everyone in Ireland”.
Premises were secured in 2003 and the renovation work began, a year later the centre opened its doors to the public on 11th May 2004, and was officially launched on 16th June 2004 by Gary Kelly and the then Minister for Communications Marine and Natural Resources Mr. Dermont Ahern. The centre celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2014.
In 2015 the number of people visits to the centre exceeded 7,000 with running costs of €300,000 for the year. A HSE grant of €2,500, a counselling grant of €23,000 from Irish Cancer Society and Bereavement Counselling grants of €3,200 from TÚSLA were the only structured funding granted in 2015. The financial shortfall is secured through donations, fundraising events and corporate sponsorship.