Sunday, 9 November 2014

Cancer support drop-in centre


People living with cancer in North Ayrshire can now get quick and easy access to information and support while out shopping.

A new drop-in service opened last week at the Boots store in Irvine’s Rivergate Mall.  The facility, which is staffed by highly-trained volunteers, is being operated in a partnership between NHS Ayrshire & Arran, Macmillan Cancer Support and Boots UK.  On offer is advice on emotional and practical issues, access to information materials on various types of cancer and treatment, or simply a listening ear.

In addition to specialist cancer information and emotional support, the service can refer people to other services, including benefits advice, complimentary therapies and counselling.

Opening the drop-in centre, John Burns, Chief Executive of NHS Ayrshire & Arran, said, “This is a great example of partnership-working in action.  The service offers anyone affected by cancer access to good quality information and support, and welcomes visitors with a friendly smile and a listening ear.  The fact it is in a shopping centre makes it even easier for people to get the support they need.”

Sandra White, Nurse Consultant in Cancer with NHS Ayrshire & Arran added, “I would like to thank Macmillan Cancer Support and Boots UK for their support in putting this service into practice, but we couldn't run the service without our volunteers who offer firsthand experience of living with cancer - from first diagnosis to after treatment.

“The service isn't just for people who have had a cancer diagnosis. Families and friends can often feel lost and confused, and not know who to turn to. The support service is on hand to help them too.”

Elspeth Atkinson, Director of Macmillan, noted, “A cancer diagnosis brings with it all kinds of questions and uncertainty for patients, their families and friends.  Being able to access information and emotional support at this stressful time is vital and we know from the success of the Macmillan Information and Support services in Saltcoats and Cumnock Libraries that people appreciate local easily accessible services.

“Improving access and connecting people to Macmillan information and support in the Boots store will help us achieve our joint ambition to improve the lives of everyone affected by cancer and help build a legacy in the local community.”

The drop in service is available on Wednesdays from 10.00am until 12-noon and Fridays from 11.00am until 2.30pm.

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