1 February 2017
Macmillan Cancer Support staff at the launch of the Cancer Information and Support service at Edinburgh Libraries
A new service offering support and advice to people affected by cancer in Edinburgh has been launched at Central Library.
Macmillan at Edinburgh Libraries is a partnership between Macmillan Cancer Support and City of Edinburgh Council, bringing a range of help into communities across the city.
Every day, six people in Edinburgh hear the devastating news they have cancer. With the number of people living with or beyond cancer set to almost double by 2030, Macmillan want to help ensure no one needs to go through it alone.
The Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Service is staffed by specially-trained volunteers and currently operates in two locations: Central Library and Craigmillar Library. It will eventually be available at six libraries in the city; two sites have already been chosen and will open later this year, with a further two sites launching by the end of 2017.
The service provides information on all aspects of cancer, a listening ear, emotional support and access to other services, and is part of more than £1m investment by Macmillan in Edinburgh. This investment has also funded services for people affected by cancer in the city including an exercise and wellbeing programme called Move More, welfare benefits advice and a vocational rehabilitation service to support people in work.
The volunteers staffing the Macmillan at Edinburgh libraries service are trained in cancer awareness, listening skills, giving support, signposting to further help and services, and dealing with difficult situations.
Janice Malone, Macmillan's Engagement and Volunteering Manager for Scotland, said: "The Macmillan at Edinburgh libraries service brings support and advice for people affected by cancer right into the heart of communities.
“When someone is diagnosed with cancer, or a loved one is diagnosed, it can raise lots of questions and concerns. Thanks to our partnership with City of Edinburgh Council, people affected by cancer can access up to date relevant information and someone to talk to.
“We know it can also be difficult and costly for people affected by cancer to travel so having this support available locally in relaxed and friendly venues like libraries can make it much more accessible.
"Cancer can affect not just the person with the diagnosis but also those around them, whether it's friends, family, children or colleagues, and Macmillan support is available to all of them. Whether the cancer diagnosis was this week or years ago, if you need help or advice or just someone to listen, this service is there for you.”
Culture and Sport Convener, Councillor Richard Lewis, said: “Our libraries provide for local communities in so many ways, from social engagement to information access, and now we are able to extend this to offer support and guidance to those affected by cancer, thanks to investment from Macmillan Cancer Support.
“Most of us will be touched by cancer at some point in our lives, so it’s fantastic to know that this excellent service is available to give help and advice on a local level at such a difficult time. We have already seen people benefit from its introduction at Central and Craigmillar Libraries and I look forward to seeing it roll out to other communities in the city.”
Cancer Support Scotland is another partner in the service and will offer counselling services in three libraries and six mindfulness courses. The counselling service is available now at Craigmillar Library and will be provided in a further two library locations when the Macmillan at Edinburgh Libraries programme is rolled out.
The Macmillan at Edinburgh Libraries service currently operates at:
Central Library, Mezzanine level, George IV Bridge, Edinburgh EH1 1EG
Craigmillar Library, 101 Niddrie Mains Road, Edinburgh EH16 4DS