New Project Spreading Awareness of Cancer Support

Macmillan has helped fund Community Connectors in Ealing and Hounslow

Ana Suarez (right) and the Macmillan Community Connectors

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January 9, 2024

A new project part-funded by Macmillan Cancer Support is reaching out to communities in the boroughs Ealing and Hounslow to spread cancer information and awareness.

Two Community Connectors, one for each of the boroughs, have been brought on board to give talks and signpost those affected by cancer to support services in the local area.

The Ealing and Hounslow Cancer awareness project has already reached just under 3,000 local residents since its launch in April 2023.

After a feedback survey conducted by the Ealing Communities and Voluntary Service, 67% of those surveyed said that they felt more confident, or very confident in accessing cancer services after engaging with the project.

Ana Patricia Izquierdo Suarez is the Macmillan Community Connector for Ealing. She said,“In my role, I get people talking openly about cancer. I visit community and faith centres to give talks on common types of cancer, including the signs and symptoms, risk factors and early screening. I have one-to-one meetings with people living with cancer and let them know about the different types of support that Macmillan offers.”

“I also recruit ‘cancer champions’, who we train in giving cancer information and support to others within their own community. This includes translation of cancer information for those who don’t speak English. One of our champions helped to write a letter for an elderly lady to take to her GP and accompanied her to the appointment as a translator.”

Annar runs a monthly cancer support group in Hounslow and is one of the cancer champions for her community. Annar added ,“The one-on-one sessions Ana Suarez did with our group were particularly valuable. One lady that Ana supported said that she was feeling really isolated and didn’t have a lot of family support. Ana was able to refer her for six sessions of counselling through the service. This kind of one-to-one support that Macmillan offers is so important for our members. When you get a cancer diagnosis, you think you’re the only one. Community support helps you feel less alone.”

Ana Suarez also gave a presentation at the Havelock Family Centre in Southall. The centre’s manager said afterwards,“The good thing about the Macmillan community support is that it’s more direct. It’s often so difficult for our clients to access support from GPs and it becomes a barrier. One client had tests and was told everything was fine and then later she was told that her cancer was stage three. The community at large are very unhappy at the fact they can’t get GP appointments. Having an alternative route for cancer information and support is hugely beneficial.”

If you or someone you know is struggling with a cancer diagnosis, visit the Macmillan website, or call 0808 808 00 00.

For more information on the Macmillan Community Connectors talks in Ealing contact Ana Suarez

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January 9, 2024