Wandsworth cancer patient support project passes landmark 200 clients in just a year

A cancer support worker who started just a year ago, helping patients cope with lockdown amid their treatment, has already helped 200 people.

Wandsworth’s Macmillan Community Cancer Link Worker has become vital for the clinically vulnerable struggling with the impact of Covid – and the cost of living crisis.

Mary, 84, from Battersea, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2017 and underwent a complex op, and struggled with concerns of reoccurrence and worries about the pandemic.

She said: “I was very lost when I got diagnosed and didn’t know where to turn or who to speak to, especially after my surgery. I had so much anxiety and no support from anywhere. I was feeling very depressed and sad.

“Since Covid, my anxiety has only been heightened, and I’ve been worried my cancer will return.

“My GP referred me to a lovely a lady in Wandsworth: Hannah. She was so useful to speak to about how I was feeling and talked through the services which could help me.

“I don’t have anyone to talk to most of the time, apart from my son who is my carer.

“So many people have no one to talk to. It helps to talk to someone you don’t know, as your family worries a lot. Speaking to Hannah made such a difference.


“Hannah has signposted me to lots of great places too. She referred me to Paul’s Cancer Support Centre in Battersea, where I love attending the complementary therapy sessions. I feel really good after those.

“Hannah’s also referred me to Move More exercise scheme, which I love – it keeps me active and the social side is great.

“I’ve been on a few walks around Battersea with other people who have cancer and it’s so good to talk to them and share experiences about how everyone manages and copes with their diagnosis.

It helps you to feel like you aren’t the only one going through it. The support gives you encouragement to carry on.

“Hannah has made life a bit brighter and easier to manage.”

Hannah said: “I’m very proud of the Macmillan Community Cancer Link Worker Service in reaching the 200 referrals milestone. I’ve loved helping people of different ages and backgrounds to access cancer-specific support within their local communities.

“The Cancer Link Worker provides support to both carers and patients at any point through their cancer pathway – from diagnosis, to treatment and beyond.

“The service provides a listening ear and offers referral to local and national cancer services that can provide physical, practical, emotional, financial and spiritual information and support.

“I can give those living with cancer (and their carers) the time to talk through their concerns and identify the non-medical support that they need.

“It’s been particularly great to deliver the service flexibly, depending on what people need – I can offer appointments on the telephone, on zoom and in-person.

“I’m excited to see the service continue to grow.”

Funded by Macmillan Cancer Support, and in partnership with Enable, the Macmillan Community Cancer Link Worker offers personalised support to cancer patients and their carers – whether it’s someone struggling with a cancer diagnosis or feeling isolated during the pandemic and lockdown.

The Cancer Link Worker can also help people with financial or job issues as a result of having cancer.  They can also advise on getting active after cancer treatment or signpost to other useful local services.

Residents over 18 can ask their doctor for a referral.

Macmillan is funded almost entirely by donations and receives no government money.

Visit today to donate or volunteer.

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