‘We’re still here for you’ – that’s the message from Wessex Cancer Trust – which has evolved its support services in response to Covid-19.
While its support centres are closed, the charity is live streaming therapy sessions, carrying out weekly calls for vulnerable clients, offering phone counselling, as well as providing extensive remote support via online articles, videos and a Facebook support group.
The charity has also set up a phone helpline from each of its centres, and, in just four days, helped more than 100 people with its online and telephone support.
Drop in funding
Meanwhile, Wessex Cancer Trust’s Daisy Bus services remain in operation, with increased precautions. However, the financial effects of Covid-19 are hitting the charity hard, with a big drop in retail income from its charity shops and the cancellation or postponement of many of its fundraising activities and events.
CEO Cait Allen said:
“We exist to support thousands of local people at a time in their lives they most need it. Now, they need us more than ever.
“All of us are adjusting to a new way of living, but cancer doesn’t stop and you may be feeling particularly anxious and isolated if you have it. You might also be worried that your treatment is being delayed or that you’re at a higher risk of infection.
“Because we’ve had to temporarily close our support centres we’ve been working extremely hard to introduce new ways of helping as many existing and new clients as possible, but as a charity we’re in a vulnerable position.
“Almost all of our planned fundraising and events have been postponed or cancelled, our corporate friends are not at work to support our fundraising and we’ve closed our charity shops for the foreseeable future.
“These are worrying times for all of us and I would urge you to please continue supporting us if you can.”
Daisy Bus has been a lifeline
Jeff Troke from Freshwater said,
“I’ve been having treatment for prostate cancer for the past two years and the rest of my treatment has been delayed, so it’s a particularly anxious time for me.
“I do think cancer has changed me and so I’ve been using Wessex Cancer Trust’s support centre a lot. They’ve been absolutely wonderful to me. They’re lovely people and so easy to talk to. I’ve also been having Reiki, which really helps.
“For me, their Daisy Bus has been a lifeline because I’ve been using it to get to my appointments at the QA Hospital in Portsmouth. It’s not just the transport though, I’ve made so many friends on the bus and because we’re all going through the same thing we support each other. I’d be lost without it. It’s good to know they’re still at the end of the phone and there for me while the centre is closed.”
Government Covid-19 guidance: Stay alert and stay safe
Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently (video tips).
It is recommended that you maintain at least a two metre gap (about 6.5ft) from people who are not from your household.
Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service that can tell if you need medical help and advise you what to do.
News shared by Lorraine on behalf of Wessex Cancer Trust. Ed