The Macmillan Community Cancer Link Worker service delivered by Enable Leisure and Culture in partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support has supported over 230 local residents over the past 15 months.
Mary, a service user who received her pancreatic cancer diagnosis in 2017 is truly grateful for the support she has received from the dedicated team. “I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2017. I underwent full Whipple surgery that year which was successful at removing the cancer. However, since Covid, my anxiety heightened, and I worry my cancer will return.”
After her life-changing diagnosis Mary didn’t know where to start, but her GP referred her to Hannah – the Macmillan Community Cancer Link Worker at Wandsworth not-for-profit organisation Enable. “I had so much anxiety and no support from anywhere. I was feeling very depressed and sad. So, my GP referred me to a lovely lady, Hannah who has made life a bit brighter and easier to manage.”
Hannah provides bespoke emotional support which helps to empower people in accessing support. Working collaboratively with local cancer services to close the gap in cancer provision is key to this model’s success; one of these collaborations is with the Macmillan Move More programme which is also delivered by Enable in partnership with Wandsworth Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).
Marguerite (Macmillan Move More Lead) and Hannah credit the success of this collaboration to their open channels of communication, regularly referring and signposting clients to one another and other services that their patients might benefit from. They keep in regular contact with Mary and their other patients to ensure that they have the support they need. “It has been a joy to see Mary and many more of our shared patients enjoying the activities for both the physical and social benefits.” says Marguerite.
The Macmillan Community Cancer Link Worker role is part of a wider award winning social prescribing team at Enable. They have specialist knowledge, skills and experience relevant to supporting those living with and beyond cancer, including having relationships with key professionals in Primary and Secondary Care, as well as with local and national Voluntary & Community Sector Organisations. Hannah and Marguerite have thoroughly enjoyed working together to support Mary’s health and wellbeing through increasing her physical activity levels and social contact with others. Hannah works to identify various holistic support for clients while Marguerite provides cancer specific exercise input including running local classes for people living with and beyond cancer.
Mary says, “I don’t have anyone to talk to most of the time, apart from son who is my carer. So many people have no one to talk to. It's so good to talk to others and share experiences about how everyone manages and copes with their diagnosis. It helps to make you feel like you aren't the only one going through it, the service gives you encouragement to carry on and it helps to talk to someone you don’t know as your family worries a lot. I am now able to keep more active and I enjoy the social side as well.”
Reducing social inequality is at the heart of Enable’s work, with the person at the centre of our approach, and in this programme by reducing the social impact of cancer.
If you need support with your own diagnosis please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
On February 3rd, to mark World Cancer Day and this year’s theme – Closing The Gap, Enable’s Health and Wellbeing team will be hosting a conference from 4-6pm at the Civic Suite Wandsworth for Health and Social Care Professionals working in South West London to share specialist knowledge and expertise on cancer services and how they support local people living with and beyond cancer. The first year of the international campaign run by World Cancer Day, ‘Close the Care Gap’ is all about understanding and recognising
The Enable- run event will see presentations on collaborative working to better support people living with cancer. The local bodies presenting include Paul’s Cancer Centre, the Macmillan Cancer Psychological Support team at St George’s Hospital, Macmillan Benefits Team at Citizen’s Advice Wandsworth, Shine Cancer Support, Maggie's Centre in West London, Macmillan Information and Support Centres at St George’s and Chelsea and Westminster plus the two Enable Macmillan services.
If you are a health or social care professional working in SW London you are invited to come along to this event, RSVP by emailing email@example.com ahead of the event.
If you are registered with a Wandsworth GP practice and would like support with your cancer diagnosis, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are living in south west London and want help to get active please email swlccg.movemorewandsworth@nhs.
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