Breast cancer charity awarded funding to help women in Newham

Breast cancer support charity, Cancerkin[1], has been awarded a grant of £9,915 from the Big Lottery Fund[2] Awards for All scheme to provide support a unique support service for women with breast cancer in Newham.

The grant will help provide complimentary therapies such as yoga, dance, art, pilates and massage to patients receiving treatment for breast cancer as well as supporting the overall running costs and sustainability of the project.

Cancerkin’s work in Newham is aimed at giving women with breast cancer access to the services that Cancerkin provides at its centre which is attached to the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead. Cancerkin provides 16 complementary therapies as well as giving patients information about the care and management of breast cancer.

Victoria Todd, Chief Executive of Cancerkin said:

“We are delighted by this grant. Cancerkin can now further develop its outreach programme. It means that we can pay for patients to come to our sanctuary in Hampstead in addition to taking our restorative therapies to Newham. We can now provide information to women with breast cancer in Newham which is relevant and focussed on their needs. It also enables us to invest in skills for the future funding of our work in the East End of London.”

Cancerkin works collaboratively with local community and health groups and with local hospitals to ensure that it compliments and does not duplicate their work.
[1] Founded in 1986, Cancerkin was the first dedicated holistic breast cancer charity based on a hospital site (the Royal Free Hospital in North London). All of our services are provided free of charge and we receive no income from the NHS or other statutory bodies. The charity works beyond the scope of the NHS and is concerned with treatment, supportive care, education and research, with the emphasis very much on treatment, care and support, not only of breast cancer patients, but also their families. It was established on the basis that in addition to medical treatment, patients and their families need emotional and practical support through the trauma of diagnosis, treatment and its aftermath; our ethos is very much to treat the patient and not just the cancer. In 2008, Cancerkin gave over 3,100 episodes of care, therapy, information and support, including various complementary therapies, patient support group meetings, Lymphoedema Clinic, drop in information library, courses, lectures and conferences and one to one support. Cancerkin provides all their services free of charge and they receive no income from the NHS or other statutory bodies.

[2] Big Lottery Fund’s Awards for All programme aims to help improve local communities and the lives of people most in need. You can apply to Awards for All only if you are a community group, not for profit group, Parish or Town Council, health body, or school. Grants ranging from £300 to £10,000 are available to fund a specific project or activity. The Big Lottery Fund (BIG), the largest distributor of National Lottery good cause funding, is responsible for giving out half the money raised for good causes by the National Lottery.

Cancerkin receives funding from ‘The Big Lottery’ and the ‘Pink Ribbon Foundation’

Hundreds of women in the London Borough of Newham are set to benefit from grants from the Pink Ribbon Foundation[1] and the Big Lottery Fund[2], which were awarded to Cancerkin, a charity for people affected by breast cancer.

Cancerkin[3] have initiated an outreach programme for women in Newham who are unlikely to have access to the services and expertise that Cancerkin can provide.

Breast cancer is the biggest cause of cancer in women in the UK, with one woman being diagnosed with the disease every 11 minutes. While mortality rates are falling at a national level, locally, the story is quite different, as shown in the second annual report of the Cancer Reform Strategy. The report reveals that Newham is in the lowest quartile for both breast screening and one year survival rates after diagnosis. It seems that women in this area present with more advanced stages of the disease and fewer take up the screening option.  With the highest proportion of non- white ethnic groups in the country (61%), it is apparent that in some cases these groups have a very different approach to and experience of dealing with a cancer diagnosis. Furthermore existing support services may not accessible to them due to ethnic or cultural differences, language barriers, location, lack of time or lack of awareness of what is available.

Cancerkin have devised a programme of liaising with local community groups and hospitals in the Newham area and getting involved with local initiatives and events to raise our profile with them and gain the trust of the local community and the people working with them. The funds we have received are enabling us to travel to these communities, set up meetings with local community leaders and medical staff and do presentations to groups and patients. Over the next months, we are planning to take several  of our therapists to these groups and hospitals, offering the patients treatments such as massage, art therapy, yoga and reflexology, all of which we know help them to deal with the stress and anxiety linked to a breast cancer diagnosis. Where appropriate, we will also be offering advice on setting up and running patient support groups and providing education on breast awareness and how and where to seek help.

Victoria Todd, chief executive of Cancerkin said:

“The potential benefits are huge. If Cancerkin can raise awareness, encourage more women to attend screening and to seek help at an earlier stage, the medical treatment they receive has a greater chance of being successful. If we can encourage these women to talk to others in a similar situation and to share their experiences, it may help to remove the stigma and loneliness that many feel when confronting a cancer diagnosis. A relaxing massage or some gentle yoga is soothing and calming to the nervous system, the muscles and the mind; all of our therapies are widely acknowledged as being a positive influence on physical and mental wellbeing.”

As indicated, work has already started on the Newham Outreach Project and is intended to continue through 2010.

We are delighted and grateful to Pink Ribbon Foundation and Big Lottery Fund for making this project possible

NOTES TO EDITORS:

[1] The Pink Ribbon Foundation Charity Number 1080839 is a grant making trust with a mission to fund projects and provide financial support to UK charities which relieve the needs of people who are suffering from, or who have been affected by breast cancer or who work to advance the understanding of breast cancer, its early detection and treatment.

[2] Every year BIG gives out millions of pounds from the National Lottery to good causes. Their money goes to community groups and to projects that improve health, education and the environment.

[3] Founded in 1986, Cancerkin was the first dedicated holistic breast cancer charity based on a hospital site (the Royal Free Hospital in North London). All of our services are provided free of charge and we receive no income from the NHS or other statutory bodies. The charity works beyond the scope of the NHS and is concerned with treatment, supportive care, education and research, with the emphasis very much on treatment, care and support, not only of breast cancer patients, but also their families. It was established on the basis that in addition to medical treatment, patients and their families need emotional and practical support through the trauma of diagnosis, treatment and its aftermath; our ethos is very much to treat the patient and not just the cancer. In 2008, Cancerkin gave over 3,100 episodes of care, therapy, information and support, including various complementary therapies, patient support group meetings, Lymphoedema Clinic, drop in information library, courses, lectures and conferences and one to one support. Cancerkin provides all their services free of charge and they receive no income from the NHS or other statutory bodies.