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Exciting news! Age UK Cornwall & Isles of Scilly and Macmillan Cancer Support are teaming up for a further two years.

Teamwork will get us where we want to be.

According to Cancer Research UK, half of us will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in our lives. However, the good news is that progress is being made all the time. The life expectancy of people treated for cancer is increasing all the time, and researchers are working hard to develop ever better treatments and cures. In fact, over the last 40 years, the number of people who survived cancer has doubled.

You are in the right place to look for support:

The numbers above are encouraging, but it is still very likely that we will all be affected by cancer at some point in our lives. It might be our own experience or impact us through a family member, friend, neighbour, or colleague.

In whichever form cancer intrudes into your life, it is likely that you will need help, support, and lots of information. You are in the right place here.

Age UK Cornwall and Isles of Scilly (AUKCIOS) provides support services across Cornwall, helping people age well, and stay happy, safe, and in comfort. Their ambition is to inspire communities and people to age well. You can find a lot more information about their services here.

In partnership with Macmillan, the extensive network that AUKCIOS has established across Cornwall now helps anyone in the county affected by cancer. Together, they provide a doorway to a vast array of information on cancer-related issues:

  • How to reduce the risks of developing cancer
  • Where to find cancer support in Cornwall
  • Where to find cancer support nationally (help is available both online and by phone)
  • How to receive support at all stages of cancer, including new diagnosis, end-of-life and life in remission.
  • How to access support for the diagnosed person and for their family
  • Answers to questions you might not want to ask your GP

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Our Campaign for the next two years:

1. Wellbeing Hubs

Our Mission: AUKCIOS and our partner organisations provide a number of local Community Wellbeing Hubs across Cornwall. These are friendly, welcoming, and supportive places which will provide time to talk and a place to be heard. People affected by cancer can be supported by people in similar situations and by professional staff. You will be able to find assistance with finances, emotional changes, and managing physical changes. Families and friends are also welcome and will find support. These groups are non-clinical – you have your healthcare team for that support.

What you will see: You will see lots of use of the word ‘hub’! Basically, a hub is a gathering point where you can connect with people and join a range of activities (should you wish). It can be a Cancer Café, or a Cuppa Companions Group, a weekly craft group or a whole building and organisation like Wadebridge Concern - The John Betjemen Centre. Whatever it looks like, you will always be welcome. There will be no pressure on you to join anything or even disclose anything until you feel it is right for you. At all these hubs, you will find someone to talk to about the impact cancer is having on your life.

You can find the community hub network here

2. Cancer Awareness Training

Our Mission: We will be running Cancer Awareness courses together with Macmillan. These courses will empower anyone who might be in a position to deliver cancer support, such as community group staff and volunteers, health and social care professionals, and small community businesses.

We will provide up-to-date information on the path from first contact with the GP to diagnosis through treatment and beyond. Importantly, we will tell you about the typical financial, physical, and emotional impact of cancer and the support that is available in Cornwall and nationally.

What you will see: Our courses will run online every 2 months and are specifically designed to enable those who want to help. They are funded by Macmillan, so are free to you. Our aim is to help you feel comfortable and confident to have a conversation with someone affected by cancer. You can find course details on Cornwall Link, on our Age UK Cornwall Facebook page, and we can also send out personal invites to local organisations.

3. Reaching to all Cornwall Communities

Our Mission: We want to be available for everyone in the county, no matter where you live. Our county is large and spread out but we do not accept that this should lead to poorer service. We intend to increase access to information on cancer support for all Cornwall residents from Bude and Torpoint in the east to the Isles of Scilly in the West.

What you will see: We will be tirelessly working with community groups all around the county to explore how cancer support can be included in their current work. We will ensure support is made available where people already gather and available in a way that fits your needs

4. Working in Partnership with Macmillan

Our Mission: We ensure that we make the most of our partnership with Macmillan as this means that we are reaping all the benefits of teamwork and can build upon their established services in Cornwall and nationally. There are two accessible support centres locally with teams of professionals available to listen and advise:

  1. The Cove in Truro (https://www.royalcornwall.nhs.uk/services/cancer-services/the-cove/)
  2. Derriford’s Mustard Tree in Plymouth (https://www.plymouthhospitals.nhs.uk/mustard-tree)

Macmillan has a comprehensive website (https://www.macmillan.org.uk/) and a Support Line that can guide you to a wealth of information. They can connect you to people in similar situations via their online forums and Phone Buddies.     

What you will see: Firstly, thanks to Macmillan the online information is always kept accurate and up to date. Secondly, the Cove in Truro can provide you with the most up-to-date list of Cancer Support Groups across Cornwall and thirdly, a wealth of further information is made available to all interested community groups.

5. Making support accessible to all

Our Mission: We will tackle accessibility challenges! We plan to ensure that no one in Cornwall misses out because they don’t know what is available or because they struggle to access the available support. We are running partner projects to include many people who could easily face problems integrating.

  1. People who are not digitally connected
  2. LGBTQ+ communities
  3. The homeless
  4. Newly arrived refugees and our migrant workers

What you will see: We will contact current and future inclusion projects and ensure that all staff feel comfortable having conversations with people affected by cancer. These groups might receive an invitation to the online training or might be contacted via phone calls or emails providing them with the most relevant advice and information.

We will also be proactive and be present at events that people already attend such as for example Pride events, Bike Nights, and lunch clubs.

We will actively track the equality and diversity of people using our training. This will enable us to increase the variety of gatherings we attend. We will particularly look out for those people that might have trouble attending events because they live in isolated areas, do not go out much because of their economic or health situation, or are currently dealing with life priorities that might overshadow looking after their own wellbeing.

6. Keeping Cornwall Informed:

Our Mission: There’s a lot going on in cancer support. Our aim is to keep you up to date with activities relevant to cancer. Please have a look at our monthly latest news feed, activities, and contacts to get the most out of what we offer.

What you will see: Our news feed changes monthly and will let you know what’s happening in your area and tell you about various awareness weeks. These might be Men’s health, ovarian cancer, Learning Disability Awareness and many more. You will also find local initiatives such as fundraising events where local charities work hard to support families with grants and equipment.

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7. Spending your money wisely:

Our Mission: We have a duty to use every penny of our funding wisely. We are very grateful to say that Macmillan funds our valuable work and are aware that this is only possible because of Macmillan’s hard-working and creative volunteers. These are just some examples of the variety in which funds are being raised to combat cancer:

  • Head-shaves
  • Mighty Hikes
  • World’s biggest coffee mornings
  • Legacies and collections from bereaved families
  • The generosity of the public via street collections & direct debits
  • Sponsoring family and friends in their crazy fundraising endeavours

What you will see: We provide easy-to-read quarterly reports with plenty of photos and first-hand experiences showing what we did with our funding and the difference it has made to local people in Cornwall.

 

Let’s join together

We want to make every contact count and our Macmillan Community Navigators, together with our partner organisations, will be there to help support YOU to build compassionate and caring communities.