Could you be a ‘buddy’ to help those with cancer?

By Ian Dipple Friday 07 March 2014 Updated: 07/03 09:47

VOLUNTEERS are needed to help support people suffering from cancer.

Macmillan Cancer Support is looking to expand its buddy scheme in the county to help the 4,800 people living with cancer in Worcestershire, who are suffering from loneliness as a result of the condition.

Volunteers help cancer sufferers cope with the physical, practical and emotional effects of a cancer diagnosis, which can leave people unable to perform essential tasks like shopping or household chores.

Grayham Wood, who lives in Redditch and was diagnosed with multiple myeloma 18 months ago has firsthand experience of the scheme as part of his treatment went he was at high risk of infection.

“I wasn’t allowed out of the house for a long time and no one came to visit me. I started to feel really lonely and really down, I didn’t have anyone to talk to. In the end it got so bad I was desperate to talk to someone so I rang the Macmillan Information Centre at the hospital and they put me in touch with the Worcestershire Buddy Scheme.”

He was introduced to a volunteer called John who changed his life.

“Me and John started seeing each other every Friday and he would take me out bowling, to snooker, to chess, all over the place,” he said.

“I had someone to talk to who wasn’t a nurse or a doctor, just someone who would sit there and listen to me and who I could chat to about other things as well, not just my cancer.”

Mandy Hagley volunteers with the scheme in Redditch and is currently supporting a single mother in her 30s undergoing chemotherapy which leaves her with quite severe fatigue. She helps out by driving her to her weekly appointments and visits once a week to help with household chores.

“She has said she wished she knew about the Buddy Scheme sooner and she doesn’t know what she would have done without my support. Now she can focus on spending quality time with her son while I make sure the house is clean and tidy. It’s a huge satisfaction and a lovely feeling to know you have really helped someone and made a difference to them.”

To find out more about the buddy scheme email Elizabeth Stickney on estickney@macmillan.org.uk or call 07764 503475.

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