Support group for Hartlepool cancer sufferers

Project manager Dawn Vincent.
Project manager Dawn Vincent.

More people are coming forward to use a cancer scheme since it featured in the Hartlepool Mail, a project manager has admitted.

It was only in October that we told of a two-pronged service to help people facing up to cancer, or to have checks to see if they had it.

Dawn Vincent and Alison Thompson at West View Advice Centre, launching the new Cancer Support Group.

Dawn Vincent and Alison Thompson at West View Advice Centre, launching the new Cancer Support Group.

We told how a dial-a-buddy service had been launched for the hundreds of people afraid of facing hospital appointments for cancer checks.

Project manager Dawn Vincent said: “We had people who did not know the appointment service at West View existed.

“But the article was really positive and people have mentioned it, so it raised awareness.”

The West View Advice & Resource Centre in Hartlepool stepped in to help people referred by their GPs to hospitals to see if they had cancer - and were anxious about going.

We had people who did not know the appointment service at West View existed. But the article was really positive and people have mentioned it, so it raised awareness

Dawn Vincent

The two-pronged approach, which re-starts on January 3 after the holidays, consisted of;

l an advice and information service for people who just wanted some extra detail;

l and a Buddy Support Service where people can get the backing of someone who will go with them to the appointments.

Talks with the public have also since led to Dawn setting up a support group for people with cancer and it meets fortnightly. The next meeting will be at 10.30am on January 10, at the West View Advice & Resource Centre.

The Mail told in October that the centre could provide advice in a range of areas such as welfare benefits, employment advice for people who are worried about whether they can continue work, and energy advice.

The other side of the new service is the buddy support scheme. Anyone facing an appointment can have the support of someone who has either had cancer themselves, or has supported someone with it. Buddies can be there to support people at their hospital appointments and that could be especially helpful for people attending for the first time - and still waiting to find out whether they have cancer or not.

To find out more, visit www.wvarc30.org.uk or call (01429) 271294.