Katherine Dolphin Griffin and Linda Goggin-James are Joint Cork Persons of the Month.
Linda Goggin-James, of Cork Cancer Care Centre in Cork City Centre, is our Joint Cork Person of the Month, in recognition of her work at the Centre in supporting the people of Cork through and beyond the trauma of a cancer diagnosis.
Linda, together with a team of volunteers and professionals, offers support, advice and a shoulder to lean on to all those touched by cancer, recognising that mental and emotional healing are as vital for recovery as are the physical treatments. Those on the cancer journey and their families can receive free counselling as well as a range of holistic therapies such as Reiki, Reflexology, access bars, Integrated Energy Therapy, Indian Head Massage, Lymphatic Drainage, and more, all free of charge.
The Centre also facilitates a peer support group at their premises behind the purple door at 26 St. Paul’s Avenue, off Lavitts Quay in Cork City Centre, where cancer warriors can get and give support and advice, while sharing a cuppa. In this safe haven friendships are formed, wounds are healed, everyone is welcome, and the kettle is always on! There is no time limit on recovery and people are welcome to attend the Centre for as long as they need to.
Linda, from Ballincollig, started as a volunteer in the Centre in 2014, became General Manager in 2017, and CEO in 2021, and is the heart and soul of the Centre. She has time for everyone who walks through her door, and ensures each person gets the support they need. She ensures that the Centre remains a pioneer in the ever-changing suite of programmes it offers. The Centre runs the only free wig bank in Ireland, providing wigs and fittings to those that need them. Linda has arranged a Cancer Recovery and Transformational Coaching programme, a Nutrition programme, and also a series of Mindful Movement sessions in a local labyrinth. Through the Centre’s Blankets of Hope programme, blankets, which are lovingly crocheted and knitted by volunteer groups across Cork, are delivered to patients in oncology wards and radiology units in a number of hospitals around Munster.
In 2022 alone, the Centre provided support for over 200 new cancer patients and their families, provided 483 counselling sessions, 523 holistic therapy sessions, 74 wigs and regular weekly peer support groups and yoga classes throughout the year, all free of charge. During that year it also donated nearly 2,000 hand-crocheted blankets to cancer patients in hospitals across Cork and Munster.
The Centre depends solely on public fundraising and the generosity of the people to Cork, to continue its vital work.
Gráinne Farren, a Cork Cancer Care Centre Ambassador said “I don’t think I can ever do justice to describing how special Linda Goggin-James and the Centre she runs are, other than to say that they were there for me and so many others during the most vulnerable times of our lives. They have given us some unforgettable memories and experiences and a fresh perspective. Linda has helped to put a smile back on our faces, and to bring back the joy that cancer borrowed. “
Linda Goggin-James thanked the organisers of the Cork Persons of the Month award scheme for this further recognition of their work “Many years ago this award scheme also honoured our late founder Ann Dowley Spillane, when she established the centre in 2012, then called The Girls Club. That positive encouragement and publicity helped to establish us at the time, and we have continued to support the people of Cork and surrounding areas through and beyond the trauma of cancer treatment ever since”.
Katherine Dolphin Griffin and Linda Goggin-James names will now go forward alongside the other monthly winners for possible selection as Cork Persons of the Year at the annual Gala Awards Lunch in January, 2024.
PICTURED AT THE AWARD CEREMONY L/R MANUS O’CALLAGHAN, AWARDS ORGANISER; CLARA O’MAHONEY, AM O’SULLIVAN PR; KATHERINE DOLPHIN GRIFFIN, JOINT CORK PERSON OF THE MONTH; LINDA GOGGIN-JAMES, JOINT CORK PERSON OF THE MONTH; GRAINNE FARREN, NOMINATOR; ROGER RUSSELL, METROPOLE HOTEL. PIC., BY TONY O’CONNELL.