In the light of the coronavirus pandemic we will be making a number of changes to how CancerCare will operate in the coming weeks.
Myself and the Executive Leadership Team have been consulting extensively with health professionals and discussing current Government guidelines which are to stop non-essential contact with vulnerable people (and those over 70) and for people with serious underlying health conditions to self-isolate for up to 12 weeks.
We have decided the most sensible course of action to take is to reduce footfall to the bare minimum in all of our centre to ensure we protecting our, staff, clients, therapists and volunteers.
The measures we have decided to take today are as follows:
- Until further notice we will advise those in active treatment, those with underlying health problems and those over 70 not to visit our sites
- We will cease to provide group therapies
- We have contacted young people’s peer support groups (although at present our children’s service is still active as the government guidance has not closed schools)
- We have asked all volunteers not to come in
- All meetings with external people are to be conducted electronically ie via Skype
However we are acutely aware that many of the people who use our services are in vulnerable situations and are in need of support so we will be:
Offering those who are in therapy at present the option of having telephone counselling
- Continuing to provide holistic therapy to those who are not at risk and not showing any signs of the virus and who are not in contact with anyone vulnerable in their family
- Offering a Cancer Support Helpline to those isolated and bereaved
- Launching a new Community Network Support scheme to people who are bereaved or who are self-isolating and need help to get food or medical supplies.
We will be working out the logistics of delivering these over the next couple of days.
I have been delighted with the positive ‘can-do’ attitude and commitment to the people we support that everyone at CancerCare has shown in these unprecedented, and often unnerving times.
However, while we will all need to demonstrate a degree of flexibility to our work in the coming months, we will continue to do our work with the compassion and professionalism that has become the cornerstones of our charity.
Thank you everyone.