The new charity fundraising coffee lounge and event space in the heart of Brixton – House of Hygge – is proving to be the place to be, creating a community lead space by providing a variety of events and guidance to suit local people. Offering coffee, refreshments and snacks, free wi-fi and well-being related events are high on the agenda.

 

Since its launch, customers have been frequenting the coffee lounge and the yoga studio upstairs run by leading yoga experts Stillpoint Yoga Brixton. As well as regular yoga classes, a Spring Awakening Community Yoga Class took place on Saturday 24th March, offering a special all-levels Vinyasa Flow and Yoga Nidra class celebrating Spring Equinox led by expert Yoga instructors Rachel and Pip. The class was open to all ‘Yogi’s’ and those new to Yoga. It was a donations based class with all proceeds to The CCT. More information on future well-being yoga classes can be found at www.stillpointyogabrixton.com

Spring is in the air and a FREE ‘Eggtastic’ Easter workshop for Children is happening at the House of Hygge on Tuesday 3rd April from 10am – 12pm. Lots of fun crafts, activities and treats are planned on the day! Reservations are advised.

Future events include awareness evenings, supper clubs and an Art Auction.

The CCT charity pop-up shop next door is jam packed full of high quality furniture, pictures and paintings, clothes, books and objet d’art. It has been incredibly well received and we thank the local community of Brixton for their brilliant support so far.

Both the House of Hygge and the Charity Shop are raising funds to monitor, maintain and enhance the quality and quantity of cancer and leukaemia services in the catchment area of King’s College Hospital, as well as the many patients of all ages receiving treatment at King’s from our local boroughs.

VIRTUAL CONFERENCING

We are currently fundraising for a Virtual Conferencing Facility for a ‘Chartwell’ Unit Multi-Disciplinary Meeting Room and the Histopathology Rooms at King’s College Denmark, Hill Sites, St Thomas’ and Guy’s Hospital, and The Princess Royal University Hospital. This equipment will allow patients’ cancer pathways to be managed more efficiently and free up clinical and travelling times between hospitals.

RESEARCH

We were approached by Dr Shireen Kassam, Consultant Haematologist at King’s College Hospital, London. She specialises in the care of people with lymphoma, cancer of the lymphatic system, but also cares for those with other haematological cancers.

Dr Shireen Kassam has a clinical and research interest in primary central nervous system lymphoma, seen as a rare lymphoma subtype fairly frequently as King’s is a regional neurosurgical centre. Treatment of this lymphoma is not very effective when compared to other lymphoma types and laboratory research is hampered by the small nature of the biopsy samples.

King’s College London has a brain biobank for storage of whole brains from patients with neurodegenerative disorders. These patients have consented whilst alive for brain donation and when they pass away, the team working for the brain bank retrieves the brain for storage. These specimens are then available to researchers around the country. Two years ago the Director of the brain bank allowed Dr Kassam to pilot a similar brain donation programme with her patients with CNS lymphoma. Over this time period five patients consented and four whole brains were retrieved, which are now stored in the brain bank. The next stage is for the lymphoma research group to receive funding for a PhD research project to further understand the biology of this lymphoma subtype.

Dr Shireen Kassam contacted Trustee Michael Douglas to see if we could support the initiative in order to continue this brain donation programme. Each brain donation costs £2000, which includes the retrieval, post mortem and storage costs, collecting 4-5 brains per year. We have agreed to help and will be funding the brain tissue banking for an initial two-year period.

Dr Kassam is passionate about promoting plant-based nutrition for the prevention and reversal of chronic diseases and for maintaining optimal health after treatment for cancer. She has been following a whole food plant based diet since 2013 after discovering the power of nutrition for the prevention and treatment of disease. She allowed us to include in this issue an interesting article about this very topic (see pages 16-19).

Children at King’s

We are supporting the children’s Toni & Guy Ward and Philip Issac’s Ward Day Unit, a Paediatric Oncology Shared Care Unit (POSCU) providing treatment for children with cancer and leukaemia, to elevate and improve the existing facilities. This includes upgrading and modernising the oncology rooms, the playroom, the staff, patient and parent areas. Also to provide specialist medical equipment specifically for oncology patients on the ward. The medical team is currently sharing or borrowing from other wards.

We are fully funding a King’s Childhood Cancer Support Group organising parties and regular meet-ups to provide oncology families with the opportunity to make special memories, whilst having some “normal” time with other families in similar situations. The group’s first meet-up is an Easter Party at the House of Hygge Coffee Lounge and Yoga Studio in April.

So far, we have supplied a coffee machine for the staff room on the Ward and replenished the neutropenic cupboard with various books, including colouring and painting and a range of new games for the oncology children.

We are inviting fundraising support specifically for our King’s College Hospital projects through the local communities through the charity pop up shop and at House of Hygge and through the various fundraisers we have lined up throughout the year. Supporters can also choose us as their chosen charity, organise or sponsor an event, or make a regular or one-off donations. The funds raised from any of these will be specifically for our King’s funding projects.