A NATIONAL breast cancer charity is to close its Hampshire centre after losing half its income during the coronavirus crisis.

Breast Cancer Haven at Titchfield will now not reopen, a statement release by the charity has announced.

The national charity, which offers vital one to one emotional, physical and practical advice and support to anyone affected by breast cancer, has been operating for 20 years.

Since opening in 2015, the Wessex centre in Titchfield has supported over 1000 women and two men. It costs £1,000 for each individual programme of treatment and funding comes entirely from community and corporate support.

Chief Executive Officer Sally Hall said: "We have taken the difficult decision to permanently close two of our regional support centres. The closure of the Wessex centre in Titchfield and the West Midlands centre in Solihull is a necessary strategic decision made to safeguard the future of the charity.

"Because of the coronavirus pandemic the charity has been faced with a 50 per cent shortfall in voluntary income and must restructure to protect our vital support services for the future.

"The decision has not been taken lightly. Unfortunately, the financial conditions imposed by the pandemic have left us very little choice, and we must put the people who have breast cancer and their families at the heart of our decisions, to ensure we are able to be there for them in the future.

"In addition to closing two centres permanently, we are also reducing the number of people who work for the charity with planned redundancies.

"Help and support will continue to be available remotely for all those affected by breast cancer: over the telephone and online. Online support classes, workshops and 1:1 therapies will continue as normal.

"We are the only breast cancer charity in the UK doing this vital work and although we might look different, our charity will continue to provide essential emotional, practical and physical support to the people who need us most."

Centres in Leeds and Hereford will reopen once it is so to do so and income has increased. NHS outreach services will recommence as soon as possible and a new London centre will open as planned next spring.

Titchfield Haven has enjoyed a number of high profile fundraising events in recent years, including an annual Christmas carol concert at Winchester Cathedral which has previously starred celebrated actors Hugh Bonneville, Olivia Colman, Martin Clunes and Catherine Tate, plus a regular quiz hosted by Outnumbered's Hugh Dennis.

HRH The Prince of Wales is a patron of the charity and stars including Elizabeth Hurley have visited Titchfield in the past.

Fundraisers have included a charity night to mark the launch of Ottoman Kitchen in Southampton and The Big Tea Cosy Party