Featured Member - Charis Integrated Cancer Care

30 Apr 2014 Shauna O'Neill    Last updated: 4 Jul 2019

Charis Integrated Cancer Care was formed in 2008 when its founder member Valerie Beattie brought together 11 Trustees to share their thoughts and perspectives on cancer and how they could contribute to helping cancer clients.

The Centre is a beautiful house donated by a local businessman and Charis offer the following services to clients from throughout Northern Ireland:

Specialist Support:

  • Psychotherapy
  • Counselling
  • Nutritional advice and Healthy Eating educational course
  • Benefits advice
  • Hair/wig consultations
  • Self-help techniques
  • Relaxation
  • Meditation
  • Visualisation
  • Home visits to the terminally ill in the Cookstown/Magherafelt District
  • Bereavement Support

Complimentary Therapy:

  • Aromatherapy
  • Massage therapy
  • Reflexology
  • Art therapy

Centre Director, Imelda McGucken states, “Our main focus is “client-centred” care. We pride ourselves in sharing with clients and their families our unique set of values and care for them at a time when they are most vulnerable, in a professional, caring and competent manner.”

Each client and their next of kin receives an assessment, a minimum of six one to one sessions and can then commence three weeks of Relaxation and/or Art Therapy and/or Eatsmart healthy eating course, all provided free of charge. The Centre benefits from six fully equipped treatment rooms for body therapies, a counselling room, relaxation room and seminar room with all areas being designed and furnished in a homely, calming way. Currently the therapist team consists of four Body Therapists, a Dietitian and three counsellors with specialisms in cancer and bereavement care.  Finally the Centre is run on a daily basis by Imelda, Centre Director, who assesses and assists the client in devising their individualised care programme. She has 32 years nursing experience, the last 10 of which was working for Marie Curie and has a BSc in Cancer and Palliative Care.

In the words of a recent client; “Cancer was a life changing experience for me.  I am a stronger person since the cancer but there are times when I have worn “the mask”.  The “mask” that said I’m fine, I’m coping. When I first made contact with Charis by phone I could feel a connection.  It wasn’t clear to me though until I walked through the front door that I had found somewhere very special indeed.  It is not the beautiful surroundings or the tranquil setting. It is not the generously donated building or the immaculate homely interior design. It is not the list of therapies or the counselling or the cookery groups or indeed the relaxation rooms. It is not even the amazingly warm and dedicated staff which makes Charis what it is. Put this list of ingredients together though, and you will find a truly amazing “space” removed from everyday life where, most importantly, you can remove the “mask” and just be yourself.  My wish is that you too find Charis.”


“Charis was like an oasis of support in the midst of the desert of illness.  It’s like walking into a 5* spa – not a needle or hospital reminder in sight, just wonderfully caring people in calm and beautiful surroundings” – Charis client, 2011.


For more information contact Charis Integrated Cancer Care on 028 8676 9217 or email:   [email protected]. Alternatively visit their website: http://chariscancercare.org/index.html.


shauna.oneill@nicva.org's picture
by Shauna O'Neill

Information Officer

[email protected]

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