Carers Support West Sussex and cancer charity Macmillan Cancer Support is today (Monday 25th March 2019) launching a new service to support those caring for someone living with cancer.

The two charities have joined forces on a two and a half year project to support adults in the county who are currently caring for someone with a cancer diagnosis.  A new specialist team of Carer Wellbeing Workers will work with those carers to provide them with the emotional support and information they need.

The new service will:

  • Offer 1-2-1 support for unpaid family and friend carers of people living with cancer

  • Provide useful information and refer people to other local support services where needed

  • Offer emotional support during this tough time

  • Provide access to all the services Carers Support West Sussex has to offer, including carer groups, a carer health and wellbeing fund, access to counselling or call back services and many more.

Susan Bolton from Lancing cares for her husband Richard, who has been diagnosed with liver cancer, and her son Adrian, who has Asperger’s.  She’s one of the first carers to use the new service.  She said:

“My hubby was diagnosed last year with a rare cancer and our lives were turned upside down.  To know that I can email and get a call back within 24 hours is a life saver. I got so low and could not get support anywhere as the waiting lists were months not weeks.  Carers Support helped me through that time and it was invaluable. 

“I always thought I would not be able to talk to anyone about my feelings and thoughts, but it was as though I was talking to a friend and I know I will still get a call each month to see how things are.  I am and always will be very grateful.”

Jill Lancaster is Community Team Lead at Carers Support West Sussex and said:

“Carers tell us a cancer diagnosis can start what feels like a rollercoaster ride for both the person with cancer along with their family and friends. They might need to support the person with cancer through a minefield of clinical, emotional and practical issues but, all too often, with the focus on the person with the diagnosis, fail recognise their needs, concerns and the impact on their own health.

Our experienced, friendly workers understand this rollercoaster and the potential for isolation with an uncertain future. They put the carer, be it family or friend, first and help them to find ways to sustain their role through the ups and downs to come.”

Kristiina Parkinson, Partnership Manager, Macmillan Cancer Support

 “As more of us are being diagnosed and living with cancer, it is vital we recognise and support the important role of people caring for those with cancer. Caring involves everything from driving the person with cancer to their treatments, supporting with house work and providing much needed emotional support. Cancer doesn’t wait for a convenient time in people’s lives and carers can end up juggling an overwhelming set of responsibilities. With this in mind I am so pleased we are able to provide carers in West Sussex with the support of this new service.

You can find out more information about this service by going to carerssupport.org.uk/livingwithcancer

Susan Bolton