Charity's vision comes to life as new Norwich centre works begin

David Moar, co-founder of the Bic C, Dr Chris Bushby, Chief Executive of the Big C, Dr Melanie Pasca

David Moar, co-founder of the Big C, Dr Chris Bushby, Chief Executive of the Big C, Dr Melanie Pascale, Director of Charitable Operations at the Big C, Lord Mayor Kevin Maguire and Caroline Jarrold, Sherrif of Norwich, at the site of the new Big C Centre on Dereham Road in Norwich. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Danielle Booden

Cancer patients and their families have only months to wait for the opening of a new state-of-the-art support centre in of Norwich.

Norfolk and Waveney cancer charity Big C marked the 'breaking of the ground' milestone as it began redeveloping the former Blockbuster shop on Dereham Road.

Dr Melanie Pascale, Director of Charitable Operations at the Big C, Lord Mayor Kevin Maguire, Dr Chr

Dr Melanie Pascale, Director of Charitable Operations at the Big C, Lord Mayor Kevin Maguire, Dr Chris Bushby, Chief Executive of the Big C, Caroline Jarrold, Sherriff of Norwich and David Moar, co-founder of the Big C, at the site of the new Big C Centre on Dereham Road in Norwich. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Danielle Booden

It is hoped the centre will be built within six months and open at the start of 2022.

David Moar, co-founder of Big C, said he was eternally gratefully for the community's support over the last 42 years including raising the £500,000 towards the development. 

David Moar, co-founder of the Bic C, making a speech at the new Big C Centre on Dereham Road in Norw

David Moar, co-founder of the Bic C, making a speech at the new Big C Centre on Dereham Road in Norwich. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Danielle Booden

He said: "It was a cold February afternoon looking out the window at Charing Cross Hospital where we had to come for treatment as it was not in Norfolk. I'm pleased to say it's available now.


You may also want to watch:


"I made a throwaway remark to a fellow patient that 'we ought to do something about this' and it resulted in Big C, 42 years ago. It seems a lifetime.

"This is another milestone in Big C's history today."

The building, which was formerly Blockbusters, which will house the new Bic C Centre on Dereham Road

The building, which was formerly Blockbusters, which will house the new Big C Centre on Dereham Road in Norwich. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Danielle Booden

The building, which was formerly Blockbusters, which will house the new Bic C Centre on Dereham Road

The building, which was formerly Blockbusters, which will house the new Big C Centre on Dereham Road in Norwich. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Danielle Booden

Most Read

The centre will run alongside services at its centre at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, providing welfare and wellbeing offerings including one-to-one counselling, group activities and a sensory garden.  

The charity is relaunching its Nearer to Home Appeal to raise a further £250,000 to complete the building and furnish the centre.  

The building, which was formerly Blockbusters, which will house the new Bic C Centre on Dereham Road

The building, which was formerly Blockbusters, which will house the new Big C Centre on Dereham Road in Norwich. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Danielle Booden

The building, which was formerly Blockbusters, which will house the new Bic C Centre on Dereham Road

The building, which was formerly Blockbusters, which will house the new Big C Centre on Dereham Road in Norwich. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Danielle Booden

A diagram showing how the Blockbusters will be transformed into a centre for cancer patients.

A diagram showing how the Blockbusters will be transformed into a centre for cancer patients. - Credit: Big C

It was also announced two new centres will open in the coming weeks in Great Yarmouth and King's Lynn, with plans to establish support in Wells and Thetford. 

Dr Chris Bushby, chief executive of Big C, said there was a crucial need to provide the same level of support in the community.

He said: "We wanted to have a centre in the heart of the community.

Dr Chris Bushby, Chief Executive of the Big C, making a speech at the new Big C Centre on Dereham Ro

Dr Chris Bushby, Chief Executive of the Big C, making a speech at the new Big C Centre on Dereham Road in Norwich. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Danielle Booden

"It will be a special place where those with a cancer diagnosis and their families can continue to access support away from a medical environment.”

A ceremony to mark the beginning of the building work on Wednesday attended by the lord mayor of Norwich Kevin Maguire and the sheriff of Norwich Caroline Jarrold. 

Lord Mayor Kevin Maguire making a speech at the new Big C Centre on Dereham Road in Norwich. Picture

Lord Mayor Kevin Maguire making a speech at the new Big C Centre on Dereham Road in Norwich. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Danielle Booden

Remembering his late wife Liz Maguire, who was diagnosed with cancer, the lord mayor said if the centre existed then it would have been well used.

He added: "It is so close to the city and Norwich will be grateful." 




Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus