22 February 2016
People across West Lothian who are affected by cancer will soon have access to a wider network of information and support services.
West Lothian Council and Macmillan Cancer Support are working in partnership on these brand new developments, following the success of Macmillan Cancer Information & Support services across the country. Macmillan is investing £700,000 to roll out the service across West Lothian and hope to open the first in the next few months.
The services will provide emotional and practical advice, access to information materials on various types of cancer and its treatment, or simply a listening ear for people. As well as cancer information and emotional support, the service can refer people onto other services, including benefits advice and counselling.
Volunteers will play a key role in delivering these much needed services and local people are being called on to offer their time. Individuals will be asked to commit to between two and three hours each week to offer a listening ear, information materials and to help people to access specialist services such as welfare rights advice and counselling.
Head of Services for Macmillan Cancer Support in Scotland, Janice Preston said: “Cancer will be the toughest fight many people will face and it is important that those affected by cancer in West Lothian have access to the support they need. We’ve seen the difference that the Macmillan Cancer Information & Support service in libraries has can make and are delighted to now be able to help expand this vital service.”
“It is thanks to the hard work and dedication of our supporters in West Lothian who raise so much money for us that we are able to establish such a vital service. Macmillan believes that no one should face cancer alone and the continued support from people locally will help us to ensure that no one does”.
Executive councillor for the social policy Danny Logue commented: “The new Macmillan Cancer Information & Support services will be welcomed by people who are affected by cancer, families, carers and friends. Volunteers will have the opportunity to make a real difference for local people at a very difficult time.
"The volunteers themselves will benefit from training and qualifications and could be equally useful to people who want to support the community for a few hours a week and to people who may be looking to gain skills or further their career."