Katie Davies, project manager for our outreach programme, explains how we’re constantly evolving the support we provide to make sure you can access it in a way that suits you personally.
“We’re striving to enable anyone affected by cancer throughout Wessex to access high quality emotional support. To do this, we’ve developed an outreach programme to bring cancer support services to local communities. This works alongside the care we provide at our four cancer support centres.
“Our first outreach project was a drop-in service in Andover. We’re working closely with the local primary care network there, and offer befriending by our trained volunteers, with the option of accessing personalised support via our Wellbeing Coordinator, Phil, and our Chandler’s Ford centre. The drop-in has already proved beneficial for the community, and we’re looking forward to growing it, whilst developing more services to suit different needs.
“We’ve reflected on Andover’s launch and considered extensive in-house research into health inequalities in the Wessex region. Our priority now is to provide more tailored support in communities, so local people can access it closer to home and in a way that’s tailored to them. Therefore, we’re putting a lot of work into expanding our online services.
“When the Covid-19 pandemic hit and most organisations moved online, we too quickly developed our digital offering, knowing that many people would feel isolated and need us more than ever. Local people were able to access support within 48 hours, so this opportunity to expand and strengthen what we’ve previously achieved has been an exciting prospect.
“Although life has now returned to normal for most of us, we know that visiting our support centres isn’t always easy. For example, you may be too unwell to travel or you may simply prefer to access support from the comfort of your own home. We’ll be offering lots of free online services, including support groups, one-to-one counselling and therapies, as well as group therapies.
“It’s important to us that every client feels a sense of community and belonging. Therefore, we’ll strive to replicate online what we offer in our support centres; a friendly and welcoming atmosphere and personalised support for everyone. If you’re a new client who would like to access online support like Sound Therapy, MENTalk or distance Reiki, you’ll meet with our Wellbeing Coordinator either online or on the telephone to talk through your current circumstances and work together to put together a support plan that’s right for you. After this, you’ll be able to book the agreed services easily, at a time most convenient to you.
“Of course, we must start somewhere, so we’ll be piloting these new online services in Dorchester. We’ve identified Dorchester as an area where less cancer support is available than many other areas. This support is currently being promoted by the primary care network there, and we’re keen to see what impact it has. We’ll evaluate the pilot and use the information to improve and develop our online services before we roll them out to more of the Wessex region, which we plan to do over the next 12 months.”
If you live in Dorchester and you’d like to find out more about our online services, please email email@example.com, or call Katie on 023 8067 2200 in the first instance.