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Project aims to ease the cancer journey

People in West Dunbartonshire who have recently been diagnosed with cancer are benefiting from a new partnership between the Council and Macmillan Cancer Support.

Macmillan Improving the Cancer Journey (ICJ), offers all newly-diagnosed adults the opportunity to meet with a dedicated support worker on a one-to-one basis. The worker then helps the patient access a wide range of support, from benefits advice and emotional support to help at home or with other practical needs.

Each cancer patient in the area is advised of the service by letter within six weeks of receiving their diagnosis and following a discussion about their needs and concerns, a care plan to support them and their family is designed.

Service user Lorraine Andrew said: “I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2017 and it spread to my lungs, liver and my bones. I really struggled to come to terms with it, and had worries about how I would cope with family, work and housing.

"I'm so glad I called the service and I really want people to be aware if they are going through a similar thing that they can get help too.

"When I was diagnosed I was living in a first floor flat and I was getting a lot of leg pain, so I struggled to walk up and down stairs. Thanks to ICJ, I was moved into a ground floor flat, and received help with benefits. The ICJ officers also helped me apply for a disability badge for my car. But by far the biggest advantage of the support given by ICJ was the fact that I didn’t have to tell my story to multiple people. I told it once, and the ICJ officers passed it on.

"I cannot express how much the support from Macmillan has helped me mentally, physically and financially. It has given me a better quality of life.

Councillor Diane Docherty, Convener of Housing and Communities, said: “The aim of the new service is to make things easier at a time when it may feel like the world is falling apart, and I was extremely humbled to hear from two service users who have felt the benefit of that support.”

To arrange an appointment please complete call the Macmillan Support Line on 0800 980 9070 or email  [email protected]