Cancer service helping thousands of people

A cancer support and advice service is looking back on its last 12 months – and what a year it has been.

The cancer information service supported by Macmillan at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust has had another successful year supporting people affected by cancer across Stockton and Hartlepool.

Its highlights over the last year include helping around 3,000 people affected by cancer, recruiting eight more volunteers, setting up a headwear service and raising awareness at several public events.

They have also created an in-reach service for all cancer patients.

The service opened in 2016, with centres at both the University Hospital of North Tees and the University Hospital of Hartlepool.

It is run by two staff members and has support from a team of volunteers.

Alan Chandler, service manager, said: “Since it was established two years ago, the information centre has been a source of support and advice for thousands of people affected by cancer.

“We help people to feel emotionally supported, helping to reduce the psychological impact of a cancer diagnosis. We also provide support with practical tasks, work and finances.

“One of the great successes over the last few months has been our volunteers – we now have 14 fully trained people giving up their own time to help. This includes recruiting a volunteer for Hartlepool hospital, helping provide information packs to the chemotherapy unit and the outpatients department.

“We have also set up a headwear service in the chemotherapy unit at both of our hospital, meaning patients have access to free headwear.

“There has also been awareness events and numerous public events, including a Living With and Beyond Cancer event in Billingham where we were able to recruit new people to our craft and chat group.

“Overall, it has been a fantastic year for the service. I’d like to thank my colleague Louise and all of our amazing volunteers – without them this wouldn’t be possible.”

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