Cancer information and support centres - for anyone affected by cancer

The Trust has two cancer information and support centres:

  • The Macmillan Butterfly Centre at Epsom Hospital
  • The Cancer Information and Support Centre at St Helier Hospital

The centres offer support to patients and relatives affected by cancer, in a friendly, relaxing environment. The centres provide information, emotional support,  complementary therapies and relaxation for wellbeing. 

 We offer emotional support, information, signposting, referral to the financial support service and complementary therapies, where appropriate. 

We are currently offering a telephone service and appointments can be booked for a face to face chat. We can also visit patients on the ward if appropriate.

To refer a patient / relative please contact Tarlika Patel

Tuesday-Friday on:

01372 735456  or fill in the Cancer information and support centres referral form[docx] 75KB and email it to

Patients and relatives can also self-refer by contacting Tarlika on:

01372 735456 / 0208 296 4730

For more information please see our information leaflet:  CISC information leaflet[pdf] 11MB

More information

Recognition for a quality service

The Macmillan Butterfly Centre was first awarded the Macmillan Quality Environment Mark (MQEM) in May 2013.

To receive the award, the centre environment had to score highly in areas such as use of space, comfort and atmosphere, personal and social interaction and health and well-being. The centre scored highly in each category.

The Butterfly Centre applied for the Macmillan Quality Environment Mark® (MQEM) to achieve recognition for the hard work and dedication they have put into creating a quality service for patients and their loved ones.

Achieving MQEM provided positive feedback and a seal of approval for the environment and the achievements of the centre staff and volunteers. 

After the initial MQEM award is received, environments are re-assessed every three years to make sure that the high standards are kept up all the time.

The Macmillan Butterfly Centre has had three re-assessments: we are proud to say that we retained the award in June 2016, July 2019 and May 2022.

Key staff

Tarlika Patel, Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Manager (Tuesday to Friday)
T: 01372 735456 / 0208 296 4730

If you have any questions or concerns, or need further support, please do not hesitate to contact Tarlika. Tarlika has an answerphone so please leave your name and contact details with a brief message and she will get back to you.

Tarlika Patel, Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Manager (Tuesday to Friday)

T: 01372 735456  / 0208 296 4730 


Emotional support

Our staff at both centres are here to listen to and discuss your views and concerns, and provide a full range of relevant information on cancer awareness, prevention, diagnosis, treatments and all aspects of cancer care.

The period between a diagnosis of cancer and commencing treatment can be particularly difficult. You and your family are encouraged to return for further information or support throughout the cancer journey.

Patients with a suspected malignancy, newly diagnosed patients or patients at any time during their cancer journey can be seen with their families in the privacy and comfort of the centres where information can be given and clarified.

Liaison with healthcare professionals working in our hospitals ensures that you receive continuity of care and a seamless service throughout all stages of your treatment. Where additional psychological support is required, referrals can be made to a specialist counselling service.

Cancer information library

Both centres have a well stocked cancer information library, containing up-to-date information on cancer awareness and prevention and on all types of cancers and their treatment.

Trained staff are on hand to direct you to relevant literature or explain information that may be new.

A selection of information is also available in a range of different formats and languages.

Opening hours

The information library at Epsom Hospital  is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday (excluding public holidays), 9.30am - 4.30pm.

The information library at St Helier Hospital is open on Thursdays (excluding public holidays), 9.30am - 4.30pm.

You can make an informal appointment to be guided around the resources. 

Supportive therapies

Supportive therapies can play a part in alleviating distress for some cancer patients.

They can offer a holistic approach to cancer care and can result in patients feeling more empowered over their illness.

These therapies are being used under the umbrella of integrated healthcare. This means that their focus is on health and healing rather than disease and treatment. They seek to bring together body, mind and spirit so that healthcare encompasses the whole person.

Supportive therapies at Epsom Hospital

We currently offer the following supportive therapies in the Macmillan Butterfly Centre at Epsom Hospital:

  • Spiritual Healing
  • Reflexology
  • Reiki
  • Yoga.

Supportive therapies at St Helier Hospital

We currently offer reflexology and Reiki in the Cancer Information and Support Centre at St Helier Hospital:

Bereavement Café

Bereavement is an individual experience and loosing someone you have been close to turns your life upside down. You may feel confused, unhappy, and angry, shocked, depressed – all at the same time.

At a Bereavement Café you will connect with others who have been through loss and who understand what you are going through. Talking with someone about the person who has died, speaking openly about how you feel and how this affects your life, can be really helpful.

Bereavement Café is not a form of counselling and bereavement isn’t a problem that needs solving, it’s an adjustment to life that takes time to make.

Please feel free to join our Bereavement Café on the first Friday in the month at 2.30 – 4pm.

For more information please contact Tarlika Patel on:

01372 735456 / 0208 296 4730

Request for volunteers

The Trust has two Cancer information and support centres at each hospital site.

We are looking for dedicated, enthusiastic and committed volunteers for our two Cancer information and support centres. We offer emotional support, signposting, counselling and complementary therapies to our cancer patients and their loved ones. We have two volunteer roles available in the centres:

Volunteer Front of House

This role is a meet and greet role in both our centres. To provide the first point of contact for the general public visiting or contacting the centres’ for information or support. Clients visiting or telephoning the centres may feel anxious or emotional so volunteers will need particular skills to help clients to feel relaxed and at ease. We are looking for 2 volunteers for each of the support centres.

Volunteer complementary therapists

This rewarding role makes a real difference to people during very stressful times in their lives. The volunteer complementary therapist is not directly involved with the client’s treatment or care but may influence their physical and emotional wellbeing. The role may also help to contribute towards CPD requirements for the therapist. Training, induction and ongoing support will be provided and travel costs will be paid. Therapists work as part of a team supporting people affected by cancer.

For more information about volunteering with us: Please contact Tarlika Patel – Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Manager (Centre Manager) on 01372 735456 or email

HOPE (Help Overcoming Problems Effectively)

Are you finding it tough living with cancer or after treatment?

Our HOPE (Help Overcoming Problems Effectively) course is currently on hold due to COVID. If you would like to know when the course will resume, please contact Tarlika Patel on 01372 735456 or 020 8296 4730.

Macmillan CAB advice service for south west London

The Macmillan Citizen Advice Bureau (CAB) advice service is a free confidential welfare benefits and money advice service for people living with cancer, their families and carers.

A CAB advisor will be available by appointment only to give free, confidential and impartial advice to people affected by cancer.

To find out more about accessing this service, please see Macmillan CAB service [pdf] 938KB

Cancer patient forum

Are you a cancer patient, or are you a carer for someone who has cancer?

Your experience is valuable to us and we welcome your comments and suggestions.

Come and join us to help improve cancer services in our hospitals.

View the Cancer Patient Forum poster[pdf] 2MB

For further information please call Tarlika Patel on 01372 735456 (Epsom) or 020 8296 4730 (St Helier).

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