Our Latest NewsFind out what's happening at Coping With Cancer
After a difficult 2020, we’re more determined than ever to make a difference in the year ahead.
And we’re perhaps better placed to do so too, having learned a range of new skills in the face of unprecedented challenges. Not only have we improved our mastery of technology in reaching and supporting as many clients as possible; we’ve also invested in training and systems to help us adjust to the ‘new normal’ which could continue for some time.
Admittedly, the pandemic has prevented us from supporting as many clients as we would have liked to.
Our small team has, however, delivered thousands of sessions to people living with cancer over the last year. The latest available data shows that we delivered 5,760 sessions to 1,006 people across 13 venues in the year to March 2020. And we’ve helped many more in the remaining nine months of 2020. Given that our team consists of only 15 part time staff, or the equivalent of seven full time employees, this is a resounding amount of support for people with cancer in the North East.
Of those supported, 67 per cent were female and the majority (74 per cent) were over 51. In fact, more than half (53 per cent) were 61-plus. The most in-demand services were auricular acupuncture (30 per cent), reiki (16 per cent), reflexology (11 per cent) and counselling (10 per cent).
This year we have increasingly moved into the digital world – and staff have responded fantastically, learning new approaches and embedding appropriate changes.
Because of Covid-19, many people with cancer have had to isolate. Meanwhile, start / stop government guidelines have caused a rollercoaster-like delivery schedule in terms of personal, face-to-face services. But we’re now ready and raring to get started on delivering a great service for our clients next year.
In 2021 we plan to work with other VCSE organisations more, and are delighted to be in the North East region’s Cancer Support Network. We will also be working with primary care networks and other NHS partners to ensure that we add value to the crucial work they do for cancer patients. In the meantime, our coaching and counselling services will continue throughout the winter months.
We hope all our clients have a wonderful festive break; and that we’re able to restore our face-to-face, hands-on services in the post-vaccine world.
We continue to deliver our services during these extraordinary times. We are delivering a blended service, including telephone, video and personal meetings. We follow strict Covid19 risk management procedures to minimise risk and are continuously training our staff to ensure we provide a safe and secure place. Rest assured, we want to support those who need our help now more than ever – but in a careful managed way. Cancer does not go away during a virus unfortunately and our services are in continuous demand. We are recruiting more staff to help us with counselling people and are introducing a new ‘Coaching for Coping with Cancer’ service. This is a positive, proactive personal 8 week programme for setting goals and moving forwards with life after a cancer diagnosis.
‘Since a national lockdown was introduced across the UK in March, 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, cancer screening has been suspended, routine diagnostic work deferred, and only urgent symptomatic cases prioritised for diagnostic intervention.’The Lancet August 2020. There will be substantial increases in the number of advanced cancer tumours as a direct result of these issues in the next 12 months. All of these cases will result in emotional trauma being experienced by not just the patient, but their family, friends and work colleagues.
We have lost most of our voluntary fundraising income this year. We need your donations to keep our services going for next year. We have to climb a mountain of change, but have a tsunami of need coming.
Please help us, every donation counts and we want to provide the care and support that people affected by cancer will need tomorrow, next month and next year.
Thank you for reading this and continuing to give us your support. You can donate via our Just Giving Page – https://www.justgiving.com/cwcne
It is safe to say that, like most of society over recent months, our charity has undergone massive changes in order to continue providing vital services.
And like most organisations, technology has played a key part in maintaining vital lines of communication and support for those in need. Our counselling team have restarted with the support of new cloud phone technology, allowing them to reconnect with our clients, and, from September, we will be introducing secure video meetings via dedicated media tablets.
Whilst we realise that the adoption of these technologies is far from the comfort afforded by face to face support, we are pleased to be there for our clients once more, particularly at a time of such uncertainty.
Our specialist counselling services are delivered by staff qualified through the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), all of whom specialise in cancer and bereavement. And speaking on their behalf, I can say that they are all immensely proud to be able to provide their support at this time.
We have also made good progress towards opening our centre in Cramlington and plan to see members of the public who can visit us securely from September. Our centre has been Covid assessed and we will be ensuring the safety of our visitors by using the correct PPE, adhering to social distancing, and carrying out regular deep cleaning.
We will also soon be restarting our Auricular Acupuncture therapy now that restrictions have been lifted. Many of our clients are referred for this treatment following radiotherapy and chemotherapy pathways as it offers a welcome respite from some side effects. As we only moved into our new premises in Cramlington two weeks before lockdown, we are currently awaiting the local authority to finalise our licence for this service but hope to have it up and running by September.
Government guidelines and advice resulting from NHS risk assessments have meant that all of our complementary therapies usually delivered in hospitals throughout the region have stopped. However, we hope to offer complimentary therapies at our centre in Cramlington later on in the year, as well as introduce a new ‘Coaching for Living with Cancer’ programme for all those affected by cancer. To help us reach more people, we are also currently seeking another site for delivery of these services south of the River Tyne.
Unfortunately, Government guidelines and restrictions within hospitals have also led to a shortage in funding from some of our NHS partners. As this funding was allocated from patient funds (mainly through oncology wards) restrictions on footfall has led to a marked funding shortfall. However, we are working hard to secure alternative income streams in order to retain our Therapy Team and range of services for the future.
Step by step our services and support for those affected by cancer are opening up and we are glad to be able to help those feeling particularly vulnerable at this time. We continue to innovate and work on projects designed to develop and expand our services throughout the North East, including Enterprise Development with Occupational Health Teams, training in Cancer Care and Support, as well as a new Fundraising Strategy.
Please contact us if you can support us in any way, thank you for your continued engagement.
Our charity has undergone massive change in the past few months.
We took on a new Chief Executive, Maggie Bailey in August 2019, who has driven through a move to new premises and a new logo in February 2020. We have committed to updating all staff in training for Cancer Care and Support, using technology and communication systems such as Cloud Phones and G Suite.
We had planned to roll out new income generation schemes with funders and the private sector to increase our range of services to support as many people with Cancer in the North East as possible.
All of this has been temporarily affected by Coronavirus. Our staff are all on furlough until the end of June 2020.
However – we can plan, train, and communicate before then to ensure our services are developed and adapted for our safe return to service delivery through the recovery phase of this pandemic.
We look forward to working with you all again post July 2020, with new ways of working, and innovative service developments. Our contract with Unicare for collecting charity bags for donations comes to an end on May 25 2020, so we will be looking for new creative ways of fundraising too.
Until then – please take care of yourselves and your loved ones during these extraordinary times.
Maggie has been Chief Executive Officer of Coping with Cancer since August 2019. Founded 38 years ago, the charity has been providing complementary therapies and counselling in hospitals throughout the North East region. All services support people with cancer through emotional, mental, social, physical and practical services
“I like to use the 3 Ps rule – people, process, promotion. And, more importantly, the development of the charity. I’m making sure it grows, finding new sources of income, ensuring we have a sustainable income going forward, that we’re well networked, and that we’re in a position to expand as the need for cancer support services grows.”
Previously, Maggie has set up four companies and made the decision to work in the third sector 15 years ago. She has a lot of passion to drive the change which is required for the charity. Our staff are undergoing new training courses to complement their skills, new processes are being put in place, and our records are currently being digitalised. Coping with Cancer will also be moving to new offices in the near future.
“I’m eager to move the organisation forward. Staff have all been given a pay rise. It’s being mindful that they’re all rewarded, managed and supported to do so. When you stay stagnant, you end up falling behind.”
Maggie has a personal experience with cervical cancer, after being diagnosed at just 25 years old. 10 years later, it reoccurred. Just two years ago, Maggie discovered she had bowel cancer after a bout of diverticulitis. Thankfully, it was caught early each time.
Last year we gave almost 3000 sessions of complementary therapies and counselling to our clients. We’re looking forward to providing even more in 2020!
Millie is based in Sunderland Royal Hospital and specialises in Reiki and reflexology treatments. She’s been with us for 10 years.
When Millie retired, she decided to carry on using her Reiki skills and began volunteering with us. Eight years later, she became an employed staff member.
“Helping people makes you feel so much better, like there’s a point to being retired. I had to do something rather than sit around the house. Reiki and reflexology are something nice in the hospital rather than tests and more tests.”
Eight years after volunteering, Millie became an employed staff member. She frequently works on the hospital wards giving complementary treatments.
“The feedback you get is lovely, it makes you feel great that you’re the one helping them. It’s so rewarding to do this job, there’s nothing hard about it. The patients are wonderful.”
Get In Touch
If you think Coping With Cancer can help you, or would like to help us, please get in touch using the details below.
Write To Us:
The Woodruff Centre
Apex Business Village
0191 250 2026