A cafe offering somewhere for those affected by cancer to relax and talk about their experience of the illness opens this Saturday.
The Sanctuary Cafe will open weekly at Gorebridge Parish Church from 10am to 12noon.
Janice Burns, who also runs the Midlothian Foodbank from the church, explained why she decided to launch this new cafe.
She said: “It has been in my mind for the last six months or so, longer. We have a cafe on a Tuesday at the church as part of the recycling project. It’s really popular. People bring stuff they don’t want and sell them for next to nothing.
“Sometimes we get furniture as well. And all the money they make goes back into the local community.
“They are giving me a hand to set up this cafe.
“We have had quite a few people at the church suffer from cancer.
“One of them especially was really well known. When she passed I realised her friends still came to the cafe on a Tuesday and had a chat.
“And I thought to myself ‘they need somewhere for themselves’. I actually asked them if they wanted me to do it and they thought it was a great idea.
“There is another person from the church who is in remission. And I had cancer, but I got the all-clear in 2013.
“So I know what it’s like. It’s good to be able to chat about it.
“Macmillan Cancer Support are also giving me a grant to start it up. It won’t take much to set up, but it would be good to have that money to do things.”
Janice believes it’s important to have somewhere local for people dealing with cancer to meet up.
She said: “The nearest support place is the Western General which is quite a way out, especially for older people, and it’s not easy to get to.
“It’s going to be a place for like-minded people to meet up and chat. The church just wants to help more in the community.
“This will be a nice friendly place where people can come without any fear of being judged.
“I just want it to be a comfortable place for people to talk about what they want to talk about.”