An award-winning cancer information stall at the Moor market is celebrating its first anniversary with the news that its future is secure until at least next April.
Since it opened last October, the Sheffield Cancer Information Hub has seen thousands of people, offering advice and support to cancer sufferers and their relatives.
The hub was the brainchild of Louise Metcalfe, lead cancer nurse for the Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), who created it as a way of tackling the city’s massive health inequalities.
She knew that too often people’s chances of long-term survival rested on where they lived in Sheffield, with people from Dore living on average 15 years longer than those from Parson Cross.
So successful has it been that it has now been commissioned by the CCG to continue its work until at least next April - and has also recently won an award for promoting equal access to cancer care across the city.
Louise said: “We know some people don't go for check ups because they are more concerned with how they are going to pay their rent or feed their kids.”
“For hard to reach groups who are not going to their GP, this normalises cancer and encourages people to talk about it.
“We spread the word and and it gets passed on.”
The stall is open between 10 and 4 Monday to Friday, and for four of those days is run by Kim Scott, who is employed by Cavendish Cancer Care.
“Nobody likes going to the GP but you can come here and pick up a leaflet quite easily,” said Kim.
“It is just about getting the message across to everybody about going for your screenings and getting diagnosed early.”
Kim said that as well as differences in survival rates between rich and poor, there are also differences among races, with black men sadly twice as likely to get prostate cancer as their white counterparts.
And traditional male reluctance to confront health problems can also be countered - by getting through to the men’s wives.
The stories that Louise, Kim and the other people who work there have come across in their first year illustrate just how much the service is needed.
Shortly after they opened last October, they were visited by the family of a homeless man who had lost his house after being diagnosed with cancer.
The man had been forced to live on people’s sofas but the hub signposted his loved ones towards services that could help him.
In another case, a friend of a woman who had cancer and suffered from mental health problems came in wondering how she could support her friend.
Kim was able to give the woman lots of information to share with her friend on things like accessing help and telling loved ones.
However, another homeless man who was sent there by Sheffield’s Cathedral Archer Project tragically died of skin cancer because he wasn’t able to regularly attend his treatments.
Fittingly, the stall celebrates its birthday in October, which is also breast cancer awareness month.
For Wear it Pink day, on Friday, October 19, they say the whole market - including the butchers - will be coming to work in pink tutus.