Macmillan Cancer Support will officially launch its new mobile information and support service bus in Chester on Friday (September 1).
The brand new bus, called Basil, will cover the North West and is part of an expansion of Macmillan’s Mobile Information and Support Service (MISS), which has seen its fleet grow from four buses to six.
Macmillan has added the two new vehicles – Basil and Bronwen, which will operate across Wales – thanks to generous funding towards the project.
Basil will be staffed by a new team of frontline health and social care professionals with more than 25 years’ experience of caring and supporting people living with cancer.
Together they will visit cities, towns and villages across the North West region to provide free information and support and answer questions about cancer, treatment options, side effects and living with and beyond cancer.
Basil and the MISS team will be parked up at Asda Chester Greyhound Park Superstore, on Greyhound Retail Park, from 10am until 4pm. Basil will be officially launched by Derek Nott, Macmillan’s Director of Support Line Services.
Jane Melvin, Macmillan’s head of services in the North West, said: “Macmillan is committed to improving the quality of life for people living with cancer, which is why we are delighted to be launching our brand new bus, Basil, and dedicated mobile information and support service for the North West.
“Basil and the team will now be able to visit even more places across the region and provide vital emotional, practical and financial support to anyone affected by cancer and when they need it most. We believe that life with cancer is still life, and with the help of Basil and the new North West MISS team, we can help people live it.”
Basil the bus is a smaller and lighter vehicle, which will allow the team to access places Macmillan has not been able to before and, therefore, reach even more people affected by cancer.
On board Basil there is a large quiet room, two LED screens that will display relevant cancer information and videos, as well as iPads for capturing data and providing information. Basil is also wheelchair-friendly and greener, thanks to solar panels fitted on the roof, which will generate power for the bus and reduce its carbon footprint.
Debbie Smith, a Macmillan information and support specialist on the bus, added: “We’re here for anyone with any worries or concerns, no matter what type of cancer. Whether you’ve just been diagnosed, are going through treatment or are living beyond cancer, feel free to pay us a visit – and we’re also here for carers, family members and loved ones as well.
“We can provide information on a range of issues, including different treatments, financial advice, exercise, getting back to work, or what local services might be on offer for you. You can even just stop by for a chat, no appointment needed.”
Basil and the MISS team will also return to Chester at a later date.
For further information about Macmillan’s mobile information service and planned visits, go to www.macmillan.org.uk/aboutus/contactus/mobileinformationcentrelocations.
If you are unable to visit the unit but have questions about cancer, visit www.macmillan.org.uk or call Macmillan free on 0808 808 00 00 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm). You can find out about Macmillan services near you at www.macmillan.org.uk/in-your-area/choose-location.