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Hundreds call on support from pioneering Sheffield cancer drop-in centre

Kim Scott and Louise Metcalfe at the Cancer Information Hub at the Moor Market.
Kim Scott and Louise Metcalfe at the Cancer Information Hub at the Moor Market.
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A pioneering cancer drop-in centre has supported over 800 Sheffield people since opening.

A pioneering cancer drop-in centre has supported over 800 Sheffield people since opening.

Louise Metcalfe at the Cancer Information Hub at the Moor Market.

Louise Metcalfe at the Cancer Information Hub at the Moor Market.

The Cancer Information Hub at the Moor Market, has been open since October and there are plans to extend the project across South Yorkshire.

The stall is free to access but the lease is up in four months time and staff hope the centre will continue.

The scheme is aimed to pull different NHS groups, charities and volunteer organisations across the region to work closer together, as highlighted in a project by the South Yorkshire, Bassetlaw and North Derbyshire Cancer Alliance.

Louise Metcalfe, primary care lead nurse at Sheffield CCG and charity Macmillan, came up with the idea.

Kim Scott at the Cancer Information Hub at the Moor Market.

Kim Scott at the Cancer Information Hub at the Moor Market.

She said she is 'not a typical nurse' and her big aim was to tackle health and social deprivation across different communities in Sheffield.

"I was on The Moor not far from where we are now on one of the Macmillan tour buses they I thought we could have a stall on the market.

"Cancer can seem very clinical and we wanted to a space so people could drop-in and be that initial starting point.

"People might put off going to their GP and don't have the confidence to make that initial step. But if they happen to come by when they're doing their shopping, people find this place a lot more approachable.

"We deal with all sorts of issues that arise from cancer. The physical condition is one thing but we offer advice on welfare, employment and usual signpost people to other services.

"Some people are curious and want to have that initial chat about cancer. Others are battling cancer and feel this is a good space if they have any questions."

The Sheffield CCG, along with Macmillan, work alongside St Luke's, Cavendish Cancer Care and Age UK among other charitable and voluntary groups.

'Hard to reach' people, such BME groups and generally men, are being urged to get in touch if they have any concerns surrounding cancer.

Smear test rates for young woman are low in Sheffield and the wider country in general.

"We know generally and in Sheffield that men can put things off and not want to go to their GPs for the initial step. Young women taking up smear tests is a problem in itself and one in four black men statistically are diagnosed with prostate cancer. It's also about raising awareness.

Kim Scott from Cavendish Cancer Care said the scheme is proving really popular.

"The feedback we get is really positive. People feel comfortable coming to us and they feel reassured that they can talk about anything

"A scheme like this could easily encourage a trip to the GP - it's good for groups who work in this field to come together."