What services do you offer people living with cancer?
Our most popular services are counselling, family support (for children and teenagers whose mum, dad or grandparent has cancer), Sing for Life Choir, art journaling and art therapy for adults and children in hospital, NurseLine, writing therapy and specialist bra-fitting for women who’ve had breast surgery.
We provide a wide range of cancer prevention services to help people lower their risk of cancer. We regularly visit workplaces, colleges, schools and community venues with health checks and to support people who want to adopt a healthier lifestyle or want to stop smoking.
We also fund pioneering research at Queen’s University Belfast into the causes and treatment of breast, oesophageal and pancreatic cancers.
As secretariat of the All Party Group on Cancer at Stormont we advocate for better policy to protect our community and its future, and we are particularly involved with stop smoking, equal access to cancer drugs and UV awareness campaigns.
Some of our services have been halted for the time being due to Covid-19 but we’re continuing to help as many people as possible via Zoom, phone and on private Facebook groups.
Do you have a target demographic who use your services?
Cancer affects people of all ages and our various services are suitable for different age groups. At the moment, for example, we are raising funds through our Support Your Girls campaign to provide a special support group for young women with breast cancer to give them advice on issues such as what to tell the children, infertility and sexual relationships.
How are you funded?
We need almost £4m each year to fund our life-changing services and we rely primarily on the public’s generosity to help us to continue this vital work in the community. Over 90% of our income comes from donations. Covid-19 has had a devastating impact on our fundraising with events postponed or cancelled. At the same time, Covid-19 is creating more issues for cancer patients: treatments have been delayed, cancer screening services paused, and diagnostic clinics cancelled. That’s not to mention the anxiety, stress and loneliness that patients and their families might feel right now. Your support has never been more important.