Name: Frances Ball
What is your role in the charity?
Senior Cancer Support Nurse
How long have you worked for the charity?
What role were you in before joining the charity?
Staff Nurse on the Head and Neck unit at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital.
What do you enjoy most about working at the charity?
I’m very creative and a very much an ideas person and I enjoy the opportunity to come up with an idea for a new way of helping and supporting people and then being able to follow it through. For example, I was always interested in mindfulness on a personal level and I have been able to train and use my skills to set up a mindfulness service for clients at the Cancer Support Centre. This started as a 1:1 service and we now run group sessions and follow up groups as well. Despite not being known for my technical skills, I am proud to say that I have even been able to set up online mindfulness via Zoom during the COVID crisis, something I probably wouldn’t have even considered before this but has proved invaluable for the patients and carers who have accessed it.
What is an activity/hobby that you have started doing during lockdown?
I enjoy making and creating things and have always been artistic, so have had the opportunity and more time to experiment with lots of new things during lockdown. The latest is doing some lino printing which involves cutting images into lino, dyeing them and then printing them on paper or fabric. I have also been enjoying gardening and planting a vegetable plot.
What are you most looking forward to doing after lockdown?
Probably the same as lots of people – meeting up with friends and enjoying a nice meal together – and of course, meeting up with my fabulous colleagues again (I couldn’t possibly forget them!).
What’s the best advice you have ever been given?
‘Don’t take yourself too seriously’.
What helps you the most when you are having a difficult day?
A few things help me- practising mindfulness of course, as well as Qigong which is a gentle form of movement similar to Tai Chi and also losing myself in my home workshop and doing something artistic or creative.