Help is just a phone call away for anyone affected by cancer

Shock, disbelief, fear – some of the first emotions when someone receives a cancer diagnosis.

Thursday, 9th July 2020, 3:07 pm
Updated Thursday, 9th July 2020, 3:18 pm
More than £40,000 was raised at Weston Park Cancer Charity’s race evening in Doncaster in 2018

For many, the shock and disbelief will diminish, but the fear may last a lifetime.

As if that isn’t enough, along comes Covid-19, a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic, which multiplies that fear a hundredfold.

What does this mean for my cancer? Will my treatment be stopped – or will it even start? My cancer operation has been cancelled, how long will it be before I can now have surgery?

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Margaret Harrison, of Weston Park Cancer Charity

These questions and many more just like them are the types of questions the healthcare professional team at Weston Park Cancer Charity have been responding to on a daily basis since lockdown began.

While the helpline itself is not a new service - it has been running alongside the face-to-face drop in at our support centre for many years - the concerns and types of enquiries have certainly changed over the last few months.

As lockdown begins to ease and guidelines change this can often cause additional fear and anxiety.

That is where our helpline can be, in the words of one of our clients, ‘not just a helpline but an absolute lifeline’.

When you phone, the healthcare team are there to answer your questions, act as an advocate and a link between you and your medical team in the hospital, or simply be there to listen at a time when there may be no-one else.

Covid-19 has resulted in healthcare services facing one of, if not the most challenging times in its history.

Our helpline has already adapted the specialist healthcare support it offers to meet that challenge.

Our specialist team are there to answer calls but have also expanded their roles to be able to offer individual or group support for anyone affected by cancer, not just Weston Park patients.

We know that as Covid-19 retreats, in some ways our work is only just beginning and we want the message to be very clear – we are here for you, not just today, but for however long you need us, together at every step.

Thanks to the generosity of our fundraisers and donors, our services are free for you to use. Just call us Mondays-Fridays, from 9am-5pm, on 0114 553 3330.

Margaret Harrison is cancer support manager at Weston Park Cancer Charity