The aim is to flag up what advice is available and where, to those who need it.
Jonathan Dimbleby – TV and radio presenter – confirmed there was a need for this when new research revealed the following:
- Over half (51%) of those in Britain were unaware that emotional support services, such as talking therapy or support groups exist despite studies finding mental ill health can affect up to 49% of people with cancer?
- Just under three quarters also lacked awareness of the financial or practical support available
- Some confided that they had spent weeks searching for the support service they need
The map was created by the charity to provide the UK’s only comprehensive directory of cancer-related services after Jonathan Dimbleby ran into difficulty looking for support and advice services for a friend following a cancer diagnosis, the aim being to address this information gap and provide the UK’s only comprehensive directory of cancer-related services for those living with cancer, their friends and family, carers and clinicians.
Groups In Local Areas
Jonathan Dimbleby chair of Dimbleby Cancer Care and creator of the map, explains, “These results illustrate a shocking truth – that vital cancer care and support services are available, yet remain hidden to those who need them. By 2020, as many as one in two people in the UK will have had a cancer diagnosis in their lifetime. That’s 27.6 million people who may not know where to find cancer support groups in their local area.
“Five years ago, a friend asked me to find cancer services for his wife. I realised very quickly that this was frighteningly difficult to do, and that there was no comprehensive resource to help me. At Dimbleby Cancer Care, we wanted to create our own site to ensure that nobody facing cancer goes without the care they need; all you would need is an internet connection and a postcode to show what’s available in your particular area. The site has already grown tremendously over the past year, and we’re now incredibly excited to be officially launching the cancercaremap.org and helping raise awareness across the country of these much-needed services.”
Frazer Scott, 30, from London, who has received support from Dimbleby Cancer Care, said: “After a cancer diagnosis, no one gives you a map for what you’ll go through or what you’ll face when you’re in the eye of the storm. Having one place where you can go to armour yourself – as well as your loved ones – to help deal with what’s coming is invaluable.
“When you’ve had cancer, you also feel like you want to help others, and it’s so limiting to just say, ‘well, I can recommend this particular charity in London’, which might not be available in their local area,” continues Frazer. “The cancercaremap.org will be incredibly helpful to signpost people nationwide to more localised services which can provide them with vital support throughout their journey.”
To find out more about the medical, health and wellbeing, emotional and practical services that could be available to help you or someone you know, visit cancercaremap.org.
Be sure to pick up February 2 issue of “The People’s Friend”, too, as our health writer Colleen Shannon finds out from Karen Roberts, Chief of Nursing and Allied Health Professionals at Macmillan Cancer Support, what the common experiences that people dealing with cancer have, and what kind of support is available.