30 May 2014
Volunteers celebrate the first anniversary of two Brighton-based schemes
Two volunteering schemes in Brighton & Hove - Brighton Buddies and work mentoring - have marked their first birthday with a volunteer celebration evening.
With statistics showing that around one in six (16%) people living with cancer in Sussex – an estimated 8,500 – are suffering with loneliness as a result of their cancer, Macmillan Cancer Support founded the two volunteer-led services to help overcome issues relating to isolation.
Brighton Buddies is a home befriending service for people affected by cancer and focuses on those who are lonely or isolated. Trained buddies visit once a week for a period of 12 weeks to provide a listening ear and can signpost to other services where necessary.
Dawn Weedon is a lead volunteer for Brighton Buddies. She says: 'The most common reason for referral is isolation and loneliness so this listening and befriending service really is making a huge difference to the lives of people affected by cancer in Brighton and Hove.'
Another project in the city offers work mentoring. Work mentoring is for people who would like to remain in work after diagnosis or return to work after treatment. It is also for people who would like to reflect upon their work situation and think about their future.
Volunteers work with the person affected by cancer to develop an action plan together and meet fortnightly for 12 weeks.
Kara McDonnell is the Direct Volunteering Services Manager for Sussex at Macmillan Cancer Support. She says: 'We know that receiving a cancer diagnosis can turn your world upside down. Our aim is to make sure no one faces cancer alone but we couldn’t achieve this without the fantastic band of volunteers we have recruited in the area.
'Over the past year they have shown commitment, dedication and empathy for the people affected by cancer that they help. I’d like to say a huge thank you for everything they have done so far and continue to do for people affected by cancer in Brighton and Hove.'
Anybody who is interested in becoming a volunteer, or accessing the services they offer, can contact Kara McDonnell on 07971 007 182.