Tuesday 18th September 2012

A pioneering service which provides people who have been diagnosed with cancer a helping hand at home is celebrating its year anniversary and calling for more volunteers to help with the growing demand.

The Macmillan Volunteer Service is the first of its kind in Scotland and works hand in hand with the West Dunbartonshire Macmillan Carers Service to provide assistance with some of the practical issues associated with cancer.

In the first year of the service running, it has helped over 40 people across West Dunbartonshire. 87% of people received support from a volunteer for up to 6 months, while just under half received support for up to a month and 17% were supported in a one-off capacity to attend a hospital appointment.

Volunteers, who have been carefully matched with a cancer patient, provide companionship both at home and by helping clients to get out and about, including accompanying them to appointments, giving them a hand with their shopping, as well as helping them with form filling and dealing with correspondence.

Around a third of the volunteers provided emotional support to those who are socially isolated and have poor mobility and 15% enabled a person’s main carer to receive some respite.

Macmillan’s Development Manager, Trisha Daniels said: “Cancer is the toughest fight many people will face and Macmillan wants to ensure that anyone affected by cancer is provided with much needed practical and emotional support wherever they live.

“We have seen the difference this service has made to people in West Dunbartonshire in such a short space of time and hope more people will join the volunteers so we can reach even more people in the area”

The Macmillan Carers Services are a partnership between Macmillan and the West Dunbartonshire Community Health and Care Partnership. Volunteers complement the work of the Carers Service by providing invaluable emotional, social and practical support.

The service is available to anyone affected by cancer in the West Dunbartonshire area, including families and carers.

To find out more about the Macmillan Carers Services or to receive information on how to volunteer please call 01389 608010.

Alan Findlay

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