A new scheme to help people affected by cancer across West Cheshire is appealing for volunteers to help provide more support in the community.
Macmillan Cancer Support and Brio Leisure are working in partnership to create a social network to help people affected by cancer combat the feelings of isolation many experience during or after treatment.
The initiative, which is funded by Macmillan Cancer Support and delivered by Brio Leisure, a community interest company, is based in the head office at Northgate Arena in Chester.
The project aims to ensure that people affected by cancer get the right care and support they need right on their doorstep, in order to lead as healthy and active a life as possible, for as long as possible.
It has been launched to extend the volunteering services already provided by Macmillan and offer a wider programme of activities across West Cheshire including Chester, Ellesmere Port, Frodsham, Neston and rural villages.
The scheme is now looking to boost volunteer numbers and is appealing for anyone who would like to ‘give something back’ to their local community and get involved in the project. Community volunteers will provide social, practical and emotional support to people affected by cancer in West Cheshire.
Volunteers will lead a range of health walks, support people with one-off practical tasks, like shopping or housework, and provide information over a cup of tea and a chat, and also help set up new community groups, such as social support, gardening and music groups.
Brio Leisure’s Macmillan volunteer manager, Georgina Clarke, says the goal is to improve the lives of people affected by cancer.
She said: “Macmillan already offers practical, emotional and financial support to people affected by cancer in West Cheshire, but we want to do more to support people with this exciting new project at Brio. We want to work with communities across West Cheshire to identify support needed and recruit local volunteers who can help to support these needs.
“We also aim to combat issues such as loneliness and social isolation, which many people affected by cancer say they face, to ensure that no one has to face cancer alone. To do this, we are offering volunteer activities, with full training and induction, along with incentives such as volunteer membership package for access to Brio facilities. We will also be holding community events in early 2017 to promote volunteering opportunities and get local people involved.”
Brio Leisure’s managing director, Elly McFahn, added: “Brio is committed to working in partnership with Macmillan to improve the care and support available in the community. Hearing the real life experiences of people who have been affected by cancer will give an insight into the needs of patients and their families, and we can break down barriers to participation in a wide range of areas, but particularly in relation to health and wellbeing, which is our core function.
“The next few months will be spent talking to people affected by cancer, as well as community organisations. This will identify the areas where Macmillan’s and Brio’s support can be improved further. The job will then be to recruit and train more volunteers and promote the new activities they will support.”
If you would like to volunteer, or get involved with the project, contact Georgina Clarke on 01244 886887 or email Georgina.Clarke@brioleisure.org or visit the Brio website www.brioleisure.org to see the range of volunteering opportunities.