CancerCare is launching two new services aimed at helping people affected by cancer and who are finding themselves isolated due to the Coronavirus outbreak.
From Monday 23 March at 1pm, the charity, which provides free professional support and therapy for people affected by cancer and bereavement across north Lancashire and South Cumbria, will be launching a new free Community Service Scheme (CSS) which includes:
- A dedicated information Helpline open at all centres in Lancaster, Barrow and Kendal daily from 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday
- Essential food and medical supplies delivery service for eligible CancerCare clients who are self-isolating and cannot leave their homes
This week, CancerCare took the decision scale back therapy provision at its centres for those with underlying health problems and those over the age of 70 in line with government guidelines aimed at curbing the spread of the disease.
The new CSS will enable the charity to provide a proactive support service for people who are in self-isolation, are unable to leave their homes and need to access support and advice. Calls will be answered by trained members of staff who will assess them and ensure the correct help is provided where possible.
Chief Executive Maria Chambers said: “We took the very difficult decision this week to reduce the footfall in our centres but we wanted to be proactive and continue to provide a service for our clients in the community at large.
“Because of the nature of what we do, many of our clients are extremely vulnerable and in need of our help in these extremely unsettling times, so, while we are unable to carry out our usual work, we wanted to do something positive to help people with practical and emotional support.”
To help it carry out its new community scheme, the charity is also appealing for people to donate to a special fundraising campaign. Donations of:
- £30 would help fund our helpline for an hour.
- £35 would help deliver counselling to people who can no longer attend their appointments at centres.
- £50 would help fund a specially trained youth worker to facilitate an online support group for young people who can’t currently attend their weekly sessions
Maria said: “While the new service will be free to our clients, it will come at a cost to the charity as we will need to staff the hotline with trained therapists and pay fuel costs. Therefore, we will also be launching a special appeal for public donations to us help others in these unprecedented times.”
The Hotline number is 03330 150628 and people can donate at www.justgiving.com/campaign/CancerCareCan
There is also a special email which people can use to access the new CSS [email protected]