Macmillan Cancer service at the Queen Victoria Hospital turns five

Monday 3rd April 2017

Macmillan Cancer service at the Queen Victoria Hospital turns five

An information and support service which has helped over 8,000 people affected by cancer has celebrated its fifth birthday. The Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Service is based at the Queen Victoria Hospital (QVH) and provides an important facility for patients accessing the hospital’s services as well as others living in East Grinstead and surrounding areas.

The drop-in centre, initially set up through funding from Macmillan Cancer Support, offers a range of information including benefit advice, signposting to other services and complimentary therapies as well as an all-important friendly face.

Ann Payne is the Information Centre Manager as well as a QVH Clinical Nurse Specialist. She said. “I really feel that we do make a difference to people with cancer as well as their families and friends. The number of people we have helped increased by more than 300 per cent between the first and second year and numbers have continued to rise ever since. I know how important support beyond treatment is and because I can see people within the hospital and in the information centre it helps to build a trusting relationship.”

The service is supported by QVH volunteers, five of whom were given special awards in recognition of their five years’ service at a special celebration on Friday 31 March. Ann said: “They are all such special people who have great individual skills to support anyone who walks through that door.”

Volunteer Russ Whales explains why he got involved: “Following my own cancer journey I was asked to share my experiences with people going through similar circumstances. I found it very rewarding and decided to get some training which I did through Macmillan. At the same time the centre was being planned and I saw an advert asking for volunteers. I find the work very rewarding. And I believe we really do make a difference. People feel they can really open up and share things they can’t share with anyone else, especially people close to them. I can’t cure their problems but when I get a thank you, a handshake and sometimes even a hug I feel like I have made a difference.”

The centre is open every day Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm. Anyone who would like information or support is welcome to drop in or call on 01342 414369 or email cancer.information@qvh.nhs.uk. Find out more here.

If you’re interested in finding out about volunteering opportunities at the Macmillan centre or at QVH please email supportQVH@qvh.nhs.uk.