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Wednesday, 2 December 2020


Continuing cancer support during lockdown

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WESSEX Cancer Trust has detailed how it will continue to support anyone living with any type of cancer during the latest lockdown restrictions. It is urging people throughout Hampshire, Dorset and the Isle of Wight to get in touch if they need to.

Since the first lockdown in March, Wessex Cancer Trust has been evolving its services to ensure they are available and easy to access from home. Although its cancer Support Centres remain temporarily closed, support is available via telephone and a closed Facebook support group. Daisy Buses to help patients get to their hospital appointments are still running with increased Covid precautions, and its Sing for Life choirs are meeting online.

Rachel Billsberry-Grass, Wessex Cancer Trust’s CEO, says the charity remains determined to supporting local people in the best possible way:

“2020 has been tough for all of us, but if you’re living with cancer you might be feeling particularly anxious and isolated. We know there’s no right or wrong way to feel, so we’ve put together lots of different things for people to access depending on what they feel is right for them. If you need support, please don’t wait, thinking that things will get better or that others need it more. Call one of our support centres or have a look on the website: www.wessexcancer.org.uk to see how we can help.”

Remote Services

The charity’s services team is currently creating a timetable of live online support sessions, in response to need, which will be made available at www.wessexcancer.org.uk soon. If you have a particular need, please contact your local support centre.

Other services include:

  • 1:1 befriender telephone calls or emails.
  • Zoom befriending groups/catch up sessions.
  • Support Centre phone lines available 10am – 3pm Monday – Thursday.
  • Telephone and online counselling.
  • Telephone and online Reiki.
  • Other therapy support groups such as the MENtalk group, dance and movement, yoga etc.
  • Online Sing for Life sessions
  • Online community via a closed Facebook support group
  • Numerous online videos guiding you through meditation, tai chi, yoga and self massages to help ease Lymphedema and many more.
  • Support lanyards available for those feeling anxious about visiting shops, hospitals and using public transport.
  • Articles and advice on coping with anxiety during the lockdown.
  • Signposting to specialist support such as financial and benefits advice or support getting online.

Transport Services

Patient transport is available on Wessex Cancer Trust’s Daisy Buses for anyone arriving from the Isle of Wight and the Channel Islands to attend hospital appointments at Southampton General Hospital and Queen Alexandra Hospital, Portsmouth. Buses are operating with Covid precautions in place.

Online Support Group

Wessex Cancer Trust has set up a closed online Facebook support group. This provides a forum to share your experiences, support each other and share advice and information from the comfort and safety of your own home. For many people with cancer, connecting with others provides emotional support at a very challenging time. It can also provide a vital support base for friends, family members and carers. Search ‘Wessex Cancer Trust Support’ on Facebook.

Support Groups

Face-to-face support groups have temporarily ceased and been moved online. For more information, please contact: MENtalk Support Group – bournemouth.centre@wessexcancer.org.uk

Sing for Life zoom

Sing for Life – singforlife@wessexcancer.org.uk

Opening times and numbers for remote support:

Bournemouth Cancer Support Centre, Monday-Thursday, 10am-3pm, 01202 315824

Chandler’s Ford Cancer Support Centre, Monday-Thursday, 10am-3pm, 023 8051 6576

Isle of Wight Cancer Support Centre, Monday-Thursday, 10am-3pm, 01983 524186

Waterside Cancer Support Centre, Monday-Thursday, 10am-3pm, 023 8178 0409

Local Shops

In line with government guidance, all of Wessex Cancer Trust’s shops are now closed. The charity asks that donations are not left outside during lockdown as shops will not be manned during this time. When shops reopen, please telephone in advance to book a slot to drop off your donation.

For more information, please visit: https://www.wessexcancer.org.uk/remote-support/covid-services/

Wessex Cancer Trust supports 11,000 people every year through its four cancer support centres which provide a drop-in service, professional counselling, complementary therapies, activities, support groups and courses. It also runs outreach services, popular Sing for Life choirs and transport on its Daisy Buses to help patients get to their hospital appointments.

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