An update from our CEO

An update from our CEO

Uniting to face cancer is important 

Now more than ever, uniting to face cancer is a serious joint effort, made possible by the whole Weston Park Family. This includes frontline NHS staff, our healthcare professionals who answer the helpline calls, charity staff, fundraisers, donors and supporters, as well as every patient, family member and friend we’ve helped along the way. It’s the reason we unite every week to clap for our key workers and people affected by cancer. It’s a simple act, but one which reminds me that we are all in this together, facing this unprecedented challenge with unity and solidarity.  

 

We are here, together at every step 

Every day, we continue to respond to the emerging needs of people affected by cancer, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. As you may know, over the last few weeks, our support services have moved online, presenting us with a unique opportunity to challenge and change, experiment and explore. Consequently, as we continue to listen to you, it allows us to test new ideas and introduce new services such as online mindfulness courses, virtual coffee mornings and telephone bereavement support, so that we can continue to there, together at every step for patients and their families. We have heard from clients, my own Nan included, who are using Zoom technology for the first time to access our mindfulness sessions and then using the same technology to stay in contact with family and friends, surprising themselves and others by the steps they have taken. 

 

Help us help you 

Since the start of the pandemic, we have been in constant communication with our friends and colleagues working to care for, and treat, people affected by cancer. Across the region, our hospitals and GP’s are here to help if you are concerned about the signs and symptoms of cancer, or have questions about your own treatment. Please help us help you by seeking medical help when it is needed. 

 

A simple thank you 

Every year, we need to raise over £2.5 million to continue to provide the support we are giving now and in the future to patients and their carers. It’s thanks to our fundraisers, donors and supporters that we do. Yet, understandably many of our events and fundraising activities have been cancelled or postponed and whilst this does have a direct impact on our ability to fundraise, it is vital that we all continue to follow government advice. For those who have found alternative ways to support us during lockdown, thank you, we are incredibly grateful for your continued support and admire your creativity and ability to innovate at this time. Like many in the sector we are anticipating a tough time over the coming year but we are confident that, with your continued support we will ‘weather the storm’. 

 

Our helpline is open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm

The ways in which we are helping people currently may look different but underlying everything are the guiding principles by which we work, meaning the service you receive will be shaped by commitment, warmth and a desire to go ‘above and beyond’ in all that we do. Currently we can help those affected by cancer by: 

  • Providing a help-line , Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, where you can seek advice and support, help with advocacy, from a qualified  health-care professional – no appointment necessary; 
  • Receive a ‘We Care’ call to help reduce the isolation you might be experiencing; 
  • Support from a bereavement specialist; 
  • Helping with personal finance through the support of a welfare rights advisor or access to an emergency grant; 
  • Practical help with shopping; 
  • Help with wellbeing through mindfulness and virtual social activities; 

Maybe there is something else you or a loved one is struggling with in which case please get in contact with us – if we can help you, we will.  

 

Samantha Dixon, CEO Weston Park Cancer Charity