Macmillan improves the lives of people affected by cancer locally. We provide practical, medical, emotional and financial support and push for better cancer care. Cancer affects us all. We can all help. We are Macmillan in Coventry, Warwickshire and Northamptonshire.
Focus on Coventry and Warwickshire
October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Karen Collins is a Macmillan Metastatic Breast Care Nurse, part of the experienced team at George Eliot Hospital’s Breast Care Unit.
Karen’s role is to support people with metastatic breast cancer. To do that, she provides them with information, psychological support and treatment to ensure they have the best quality of life. This involves working closely with a number of different services, from the Macmillan Information and Support Centre at George Eliot, to the Mary-Ann Evans Hospice and end-of-life care services.
‘I see patients who are diagnosed with a life-limiting illness. Part of my role involves making sure people living with metastatic breast cancer in the area have a point of contact and as much support as they’d like. I really try to make this part of their lives as simple as possible and I try to keep them out of hospital with their family and friends.
‘Being able to extend a person’s length of life and give them the best death possible is a really privileged part of my role. I also make sure that they’re in their preferred place at the end of their life.’
‘The reason I became a Macmillan nurse is because I feel strongly about supporting people and giving them the help they need to navigate such a difficult and emotional time. A patient will often talk about how they’re just getting used to a new treatment or routine but then the cancer does something different and we have to change things again. It’s my role – and the challenge I enjoy the most – to ensure that this time can be as stress-free as possible for them. This stage in life for someone with cancer is never easy, but I truly believe having a professional who cares and wants to support them through it makes it more bearable.’
A metastatic breast cancer diagnosis can affect people of any age: Karen is currently supporting a young woman with incurable breast cancer which has spread to her bones. ‘I’ve had the opportunity to help her, her husband and her family to understand what having cancer in her bones means, what the chemotherapy will hopefully achieve and then supporting her in adjusting to her “new normal” - living with an incurable disease.
‘It can be very difficult to give accurate information at this point of diagnosis as cancer does not always behave the way we expect it to. But that’s where I come in again: it’s my role to explain this and encourage patients to get to know their own bodies so they can spot any changes in symptoms early.’
Karen is also actively involved in fundraising for Macmillan: ‘I constantly have pin badges and other fundraising materials to sell for Macmillan. Last time I raised nearly £200.
A new initiative I’ve had the pleasure of supporting at the George Eliot hospital is ‘Walk and Talk’ for everyone diagnosed with breast cancer, initiated by Macmillan Breast Care Nurse Alison Syborn. It’s proved very popular already and is something we plan to continue investing time in.’
No one should face cancer alone. Call the Macmillan Support Line, whatever your worries, on 0808 808 0000. Lines are open Mon-Fri 9am-8pm.
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How to reach us
For fundraising support and information you can contact the Fundraising Support Team.
Opening hours Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.
Call 0300 1000 200
Note 0300 numbers are charged at the same rate as 01 and 02 numbers, including calling from mobiles.
How to donate to Macmillan
Pay in online.
Send a cheque to the Freepost address:
Macmillan Cancer Support
87-90 Albert Embankment
Pay directly into the bank. Contact the Fundraising Support Team for how to do this and more information on how to donate to Macmillan.
There are currently no events listed. Please contact your local fundraising office.
Meet the team
I am the Fundraising Manager for Coventry and North Warwickshire, and have been with Macmillan for three years.
I want everyone to have Macmillan help. My Dad didn’t, and after speaking to people who had a Macmillan nurse, they had such a better experience when a loved one was diagnosed with cancer. My dad felt very alone and I want to make sure no one else faces cancer alone.
I am the Fundraising Manager for South Warwickshire and I absolutely love my job. It is so fulfilling and I meet so many passionate and lovely people.
In 2012, my amazing best friend lost his fight with cancer. I made a promise to my friend that I would continue to help others by running the Birmingham Half Marathon and raising money to make the lives of people affected by cancer and their family’s lives more comfortable.
In July 2013, I started working as a Fundraising Manager for Macmillan Cancer Support. Through making presentations to a range of audiences and supporting local fundraising events, I feel that I am giving something back to this amazing charity and helping to make a positive difference to people whose lives have been touched in some way by a cancer diagnosis. We are all affected by cancer, and we can all help.
I am Fundraising Manager for Northamptonshire. I've been fortunate to meet some amazingly inspirational people during my time with Macmillan. I love the fact that this doesn’t feel like a job, its more of a passion.
My background is in marketing mainly for technology companies, but I sadly lost my wonderful husband to Pancreatic Cancer after a very brief illness.
Our daughter was very young at the time and I used my energy to set up my own business and also to carry out some fundraising events. This felt far more fulfilling than other career paths I had chosen, and I am delighted to be helping other companies, groups, associations and individuals to reach their fundraising goals for such a wonderful and worthwhile cause.
Volunteering for us
Our organisation was started by a volunteer nearly one hundred years ago, and today they’re still at the very heart of everything we do. Join us and together we can make a difference.
Find the latest volunteering opportunities near to you on our volunteer pages.