The Bracken Trust began on the 6th November 1995 when a former Macmillan Nurse, Sister Grace Lawrence and Sister Beryl Lichtenstein, herself a cancer patient, together with Dr Hans Lichtenstein realised the need for a Centre to support people affected by cancer.
A 50-50 shop was opened in Llandrindod Wells in February 1996 for 3 weeks to raise some initial funds and £6,000 was raised. Initially the Trust opened it’s doors in Lant Avenue Communitry Hall and after a short stay there, moved to a small flat in Montpellier park and after only 6 months, moved to a larger flat in the same building. Aromatherapy and Massage were offered for the 1st time. Then, disaster struck and a fire, which started in our absence, destroyed everything and the Trust moved back to Lant Avenue.
The Bracken Trust was established as a Registered Charity and a Company Limited by Guarantee in 1997. To raise funds after the fire, the Trust launched a “buy a brick” campaign and shortly after, we were visited by The Henry Smith Charity, who recognised the good work being done and granted £100,000. The Trust was then in the position to purchase its own property in Cefnllys Lane in September 1998. The bungalow cost £125,000 and the alterations an additional £28,000. The Trust was able to raise the additional amount with help from many generous people.
The bungalow (now known as The Bracken Trust), perfectly placed in a large garden, is very peaceful and has a lovely, calming atmosphere. With the purchase of our own property, The Bracken Trust was able to function again and increased it’s opening from from 3 days, to five days. With the aid of Lottery Funding, via the community Fund, and donations from benefactors, including Lloyds TSB, The Wolfson Foundation, The Sobell Charity and any others both large and small, an extension was built to house the increasing needs of The Trust and this, together with major alterations to the existing building, were finished in December 2002. In 2010, Macmillan Cancer Support provided the majority of the funding for an extension to The Trust. The additional accommodation provided a Macmillan Cancer Information Centre, additional Counselling and Therapy rooms, an office for the nurses, a large multipurpose room for support activities (Relaxation, Tai Chi, Yoga and Crafts, etc.), additional toilet facilities and extended our car parking areas. Building works were completed in April 2010. Then we moved back into the building.
In June 2011, we were fortunate to have a visit from HRH the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall. A wonderful day was had by our patients, volunteers and supporters. Also in June 2011, we were granted the prestigious Macmillan Quality Environment Award in recognition of the quality support that we provide for our patients, their carers, and family, and the bereaved.