Artist who suffers with Hodgkin Lymphoma calls for ‘guide’ for shielders coming out of lockdown

An artist in lockdown has appealed for a proper plan for people who are shielding from Covid-19 – and a guide to how they can get back to their old routine.

Shops are opening and staff returning, but many vulnerable people, including those living with cancer, are confused and anxious about how the new measures will affect them.

Brixton artist Sarah Davis, 29, pictured above, is calling on the government to ensure people who are shielding get clear communication so that vulnerable people can feel safe and access the support they need.

The sculptor was diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma in 2017, and had to have a stem cell transplant in 2018.

Sarah was supported by Macmillan Cancer Support throughout treatment and recovery.

She is supporting the charity’s campaign for clear new guidelines for vulnerable ex-patients like her.

She said:  “I feel quite conflicted. On the one hand I am glad vulnerable and shielding people are being discussed, but the move is just so sudden and has added to the confusion.

“I personally would have liked discussion and evidence of a wider plan for people who are shielding – not snap decisions that, quite frankly, seem irresponsible.

“I’ve seen no scientific evidence being presented to justify the move. I don’t feel comfortable to go out. The infection rate is still quite high.

“I love Brixton – it’s thriving and lively but so, so busy. Which makes the idea of venturing out after 12 weeks quite an intimidating prospect.

“I am currently furloughed from a part-time job, which is a relief as I have lost all my freelance creative work.  I am able to work on personal art projects from home, which is a real boost, although I miss my art studio, but I only feel comfortable going back to work when it is safe to do so.”

Macmillan campaign manager Anna Collishaw-Nikodemus said: “Many people living with cancer in London are having to make decisions about new advice and whether they feel safe to go out once a day, so we are asking the government to communicate really clearly with people who are shielding, and those that support them.

“This will help them make decisions about whether they or members of their household should leave home, go to work or school.”

Emma Tingley, Macmillan’s London strategic partnerships manager, added: “We speak to people affected by cancer, like Sarah, every day via our support line and know the emotional impact the outbreak is taking its toll on people who are already struggling so we are determined to ensure that cancer is not the forgotten ‘C’ in this pandemic.

“As Macmillan Cancer Support is almost entirely funded by public donations, we’re asking people to give what they can, so that we can continue to provide vital support to people with cancer particularly at this difficult time.

“If you’re able to, please donate to our emergency appeal today.”

To donate to Macmillan Cancer Support’s emergency appeal click here or call 0300 1000 200.

The free Macmillan Support Line is open seven days a week between 8am – 8pm, on 0808 808 00 00 click here.


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