Diane Cutler, our Chair of Trustees, shares her thoughts on why the evolving needs of local people are at the heart of our three year strategy, Cancer Support For All
“At the beginning of spring, I was driving through the beautiful Hampshire countryside to meet a friend for Sunday lunch. It was wonderful to see the buds starting to appear and flowers coming into bloom. There were lambs in the fields and I felt a real sense that we’re beginning to emerge from winter and are ready for new beginnings.
“At Wessex Cancer Trust, we’re also preparing for new beginnings as we launch our three-year strategy. We aim to grow the support we offer to local people living with cancer, and their loved ones. Over the next few years, we want to ensure that no one has to travel more than 15 miles to receive the high quality and personalised emotional support they need.
“However, achieving this aspiration isn’t going to be easy. As I was driving, I was reminded just how rural the counties of Hampshire, Dorset and the Isle of Wight are. A cancer diagnosis can leave you feeling isolated, in pain and in need of someone to talk to. It is this that’s driven the focus of our new strategy and that’s why we’re planning to extend our reach so that no matter where you live – whether that’s in one of our local villages, hamlets, towns or cities – you have access to emotional support. We’ll deliver this through a brand new programme of community-based support, in areas of the region that are currently underserved with cancer support services, as well as through our well-loved existing Centres.
Our communities are diverse, and so too are the ways people manage their own personal experience of cancer.
Cancer doesn’t discriminate, and so we want our support to reflect the rich diversity of our communities. At Wessex Cancer Trust, we offer anyone affected by cancer, at any stage, no matter what their background, a safe space where they can access emotional support.
We’ve learnt a lot over the past two years – especially in light of the Covid-19 pandemic which has had a profound effect on cancer services, but the most important thing is that we need to be able to adapt and evolve to meet the emerging needs of the local people who need us. Evidence shows that the number of people living with cancer will increase over the next few years and there’ll be more demand for our services. Our three-year strategy is designed to meet those needs.
On my drive, I saw many people appreciating the beautiful spring day with loved ones and friends and I reflected how important it is to have someone by our side at times in our lives. Living with cancer can be particularly tough and whether it’s dealing with your own cancer diagnosis or supporting someone you love, Wessex Cancer Trust is here for you.