5 Minutes with Axminster and Lyme Cancer Support | Your Cancer Services

21 September 2020 - by David Allen

With no local cancer care centre near East Devon and West Dorset, Axminster and Lyme Cancer Support Groupwas set up in August 2018 to offer services to those affected by cancer in the local area. With the impact of COVID-19 this year, they have had to adapt and change what they do. We caught up with them to find out more about the different services they have added for their clients.

What services do you offer people?

We have a team of varied team of therapists and clients can have up to 6 treatments per year, we also have a Beach Hut located in Lyme Regis for use to clients currently set to 3 times within 3 months, this went live in July. 

We also offer a library of books and puzzles, we do weekly Zoom catch-ups as we cannot currently run our drop-in service, Creative writing workshops, Nordic Walking, Water Therapy sessions exclusive to our members. 

Do you have a target demographic who use your services? 

Axminster and Lyme Cancer Support offer immediate help to people within the local area but we do hope to expand the Beach Hut availability wider but due to Covid19 this has been delayed.

How are you funded?

The ALCS is funded by local and national grants along with our own fundraising events.

What’s the most rewarding thing about the work you do?

Knowing that we can help and support people in so many different ways to suit their own individual needs, so that people do not feel alone. We have a number of volunteers and they all get to know the clients and offer different support as and when it is needed.

What would you say to those who are considering getting in touch with you but are nervous or apprehensive?

We can help you as much or as little as you want, you do not have to join in with anything you do not feel comfortable with. 

Do you have testimonials from people that have used your services? 

“These people are angels. The support we have been given has been overwhelming. They probably don’t even realise what a difference they make to families but quite honestly some of the kindest, most caring people I have ever known.”

“We so appreciate having been able to use the Mary Anning beach hut.  The provision of recliner chairs and 2 folding ones plus two portable tables and a kind welcome voucher really has made a colossal difference to our special time with family enjoying a seaside holiday.  I was so exhausted by the heat today that by 2 pm I dragged myself away from the recliner on the pebbles and found blessed relief from the heat lying down within the shady hut.  Without it I think I would have been in danger of passing out. I certainly could not have found the strength to walk back to the car park or up the hill to the house. I think the hut is a brilliant idea. I love the scent of the new wood.  Thank you so much for arranging the booking. We will be back if possible.”

“… just to say it was so nice to receive the Simple Things magazine this morning. I’ve had a low couple of days and missing my husband so much.  It really lifted my spirits and is full of lovely things.  Thanks for thinking of me xxx”

Who works for you? 

Mary – CMD, Donna – Marketing & IT, Kevin – Treasurer, Heather – Grant Co-ordinator. We also have a team of volunteers, a committee – fundraising and beach hut subcommittee, a large number of therapists and our trustees who without all the help and support we just could not continue to do what we do.

What are the values of your work?

To help and support cancer patients and their family and friends to the best of our ability through the tough time and recovery and offer a safe place for discussion and help that is not within a hospital and GP environment. 

And finally, can you describe your organisation in 3 words?

Supportive, caring and compassionate.

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