Lyndale Knowsley Cancer Support Group began in the front room of our founder, Mary Davies in 1983 after surgery for lung cancer when she found there was nowhere to go for support. Encouraged by her GP, who attended the first meetings, it became apparent due to increasing demand that larger premises were needed. As the group grew we moved to a larger building in Bluebell Lane for one evening a week.
In 1988 a property in Huyton Lane came up for sale and was close to bus and train stations and the M62 & M57 motorways making it the ideal place for a support group. During this period, feverish and resourceful research by the committee found statistics that showed the North West had the highest incidence of cancer in the country, which highlighted and established the great “Need” for cancer support within the community. The presentation of these statistics by the Committee/Trustees to potential fund providers undoubtedly helped to secure funding for premises to maintain and reflect “Our” identity as a cancer support group within a homely and friendly environment.
We had also become aware that in order to be credible, charitable status should be applied for, so to this end we consulted with legal advisors. Thanks to Knowsley Council for Voluntary Service and others we arranged one to one representation at the Charity Commissioners office, which finally sealed the charitable status.
In June 1988 the purchase of 40, Huyton Lane, now known as Lyndale, was financed by way of a grant of £48,000 from Urban Renewal Funding, comprising of £36,000 from Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council and £12,000 from St Helens & Knowsley Health Authority, and with the shortfall of £11,000 met by way of a 25 year mortgage. Another homely factor!
Little did our stalwart founder and first committee dream that the seeds sown in Mary’s small home would lead to the beautifully extended and refurbished “Lyndale” of today.
These improvements were initiated and achieved by present volunteers/trustees, because of their unwavering belief that as ever-increasing numbers were tapping into Lyndale resources, there still existed “The Need”.
The building work and refurbishment carried out during 2003/04 was funded by The National Lottery and from The Mayor of Knowsley Charity Fund, for three consecutive years: Bob Maguire 2000/01, Tommy Russell 2001/02 and David Friar: 2002/03.
This hat trick was unique in the history of Knowsley; further funding was also obtained from Merseyside Safer Cities and Knowsley Inclusion Unit. This included funding for the installation of a lift so people can access the quiet room, office and therapy room.
In 2010 Lyndale made further application for funding from the Lottery Reaching Communities in order to continue providing complementary therapies for a further five years, which are free of charge to members and volunteers alike. The grant also provided five years funding towards running costs which are kept low thanks to our tremendous team of volunteers.
While researching for this grant it was obvious that Knowsley still had the highest incidence of cancer in the UK. The Knowsley Health Report statistics were shocking and confirms the need for support across the borough.
Lyndale is unique in Knowsley and has built strong links with the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), all the local hospitals, hospices and health professionals. We also have contact with social services, and benefits advisors from Knowsley Benefits Office.
Lyndale is run solely by our 46 volunteers who work tirelessly supporting people and making Lyndale such a very special place. If we began paying our volunteers the minimum wage the total wage bill would be over £100,000 per year, but they are worth more than that and irreplaceable!
Our very committed volunteers are the backbone and reason why Lyndale is successful.