17 December 2014
People living with cancer in North Ayrshire can now get quick and easy access to cancer information and support while out shopping thanks to the new in-store drop in service at Boots UK store in Irvine.
The service, which is a partnership between NHS Ayrshire & Arran, Macmillan Cancer Support, Boots UK and the voluntary sector, will be run by a group of highly trained volunteers. The volunteers can provide emotional and practical advice, access to information materials on various types of cancer and its treatment, or simply a listening ear. As well as specialist cancer information and emotional support, the service can refer people onto other services, including benefits advice, complimentary therapies and counselling.
Cancer is often the toughest fight many people will face. Boots UK and Macmillan Cancer Support are working together to ensure everyone affected by cancer, wherever they are in the UK, has access to the best cancer information and support in their local community. Over three quarters (80%) of cancer patients feel better having someone to talk to on a face-to face basis and we hope this will be the first of many drop in services to be introduced.
John Burns, Chief Executive of NHS Ayrshire & Arran said: 'I am delighted and honoured to open this Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Service. This is a great example of partnership working in action.
The service offers anyone affected by cancer access to good quality information and support, and welcomes visitors with a friendly smile and a listening ear. And, the fact that it is in a shopping centre, makes it even easier for people to get the support they need.'
Sandra White, Nurse Consultant in Cancer, NHS Ayrshire & Arran adds: 'On behalf of NHS Ayrshire & Arran, I would like to thank Macmillan Cancer Support and Boots UK for their support in putting this service into practice. But we couldn’t run the service without our volunteers.'
'Our wonderful volunteers offer firsthand experience of living with cancer – from first diagnosis to after treatment. And the service isn’t just for people who have had a cancer diagnosis. Families and friends can often feel lost and confused, and not know who to turn to. The support service is on hand to help them too.'
Elspeth Atkinson, Director of Macmillan, comments: 'A cancer diagnosis brings with it all kinds of questions and uncertainty for patients, their families and friends. Being able to access information and emotional support at this stressful time is vital and we know from the success of the Macmillan Information and Support services in Saltcoats and Cumnock Libraries that people appreciate local easily accessible services.'
'Improving access and connecting people to Macmillan information and support in Boots stores will help us achieve our joint ambition to improve the lives of everyone affected by cancer and help build a legacy in the local community.'
The drop in service will be available Wednesday from 10am until 12 noon and Friday from 11am until 2.30 pm.
The Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Service is also available in East and South Ayrshire.
If you want to find out about support in your area, come along to:
- East Ayrshire: Cumnock Library - Monday and Thursday from 2pm to 4pm
- South Ayrshire: Drop in service at Boots store, High Street, Ayr - Wednesday from 1pm to 4pm and Thursday from 10am to 12.30pm - To find out more call 01563 825726.