Consequently, in 1999 the English Speaking Cancer Support Group (ECSG) was formed and a group of six members began meeting in a local bookstore, The Bookworm.
In 2000, the ECSG became a legal entity under the presidency of Liz Rollinson-Phillips. Dedicated volunteers, working actively on cancer awareness campaigns and collaborating with the Geneva, Vaud and Swiss Cancer Leagues, began gaining support from local oncologists. The news started spreading: help was available in English for cancer patients and carers, and services were free.
In 2004, with the departure of Liz, Patsy Allen became president. Patsy, herself a nurse and breast cancer survivor, made it her mission to further improve services. For easier recognition, the name of the group became the English Speaking Cancer Association (ESCA).
In 2018, the decision was wisely made to change our name again to reflect what we’ve become known best for: ESCA CancerSupport.
Since its foundation, our services have expanded enormously to include professional counselling, art therapy, mindfulness, yoga and gym classes, breast cancer and bereavement support groups, and more. Our services are in English but we welcome any and all nationalities. A Drop-In Centre with trained volunteers and a library welcome visitors and provide a friendly and confidential space where they can find support.
With the generosity and fundraising efforts of the community and our hugely successful annual Paddle for CancerSupport Dragonboat Festival, we continue to expand our cancer support network and offer help that is year round, free of charge, and accessible to everyone.