Norfolk and Waveney cancer charity, Big C located on Norwich Research Park, is encouraging local people affected by cancer to access community-based support during the Coronavirus outbreak.
Dr Melanie Pascale, Director of Charitable Operations at Big C, said, “Getting the right support when either you, or a loved one, is facing cancer, which is very difficult at any time, is particularly crucial now when so many are socially isolating or for the most vulnerable, shielding at home completely. Many are also experiencing increased anxiety due to changes in their care and treatment plans.
“Since the beginning of the outbreak our support team has made telephone contact with hundreds of Big C service-users to check on their health and wellbeing. 800 people have also accessed support via our online support centre since we closed our centres due to the outbreak. With 25,000 visits to our centres across Norfolk usually taking place each year, we know how many people will currently be needing our support and we’re keen to raise awareness of the services we can continue to offer, albeit in a different way in some cases. You don’t need to have used Big C services previously, we are here for everyone living with cancer.”
Tim Adams, who has been supported by Big C in recent weeks, said “I am absolutely overwhelmed by the continuous support that I have received so far through phone counselling and regular telephone calls of support. Thanks so much also for the bag of incredibly useful items delivered to my home earlier on this week. It was such a kind thought and a lovely surprise.”
Another Big C service user, Rodney Earp, said “I took my bag of Big C goodies to my allotment and whilst I planted my Casablanca 1st early potatoes, I was overcome with the kindness of the team in packing these items for me. I could use everything, and I felt as though you were there with me at this time when we can’t meet. I can only thank you with all my heart.”
Big C has launched a range of services designed to support those affected by cancer during the Coronavirus outbreak which include:
- Free telephone support line operated by cancer specialist nurses and qualified, experienced cancer information officers. Telephone 0800 092 7640, Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.
- Live chat facility Monday to Friday 11am to 3pm
- Telephone counselling
- Telephone advice in partnership with Citizens Advice Bureau
- Big C Virtual Centre – offering ‘Ask the Nurse’ support and video links to Big C team members. Physical activity and mental wellbeing videos
- Delivery of Big C welfare support packs, including hand sanitisers made by UEA scientists for the charity
- Emergency delivery service for those most in need
- Weekly wellbeing blogs from Big C nursing and information support staff
Dr Melanie Pascale added, “Please do get in touch with Big C on 0800 092 7640 and we will be very happy to discuss how we can support you.”