Now, more than ever, collaboration between health, social care and the voluntary sector is vital to achieve better outcomes for families across the region as we navigate these challenging post-pandemic times.
LCVS are pleased to be working with Cheshire and Merseyside Cancer Alliance to encourage and enable groups in the voluntary sector to increase cancer awareness.
How are we doing this? Groups and organisations all have one thing in common – they know their communities well and talk to them regularly. Perhaps these groups can facilitate conversations around cancer screening opportunities – are those being offered screening attending their appointments? If not, why not?
We know that there is still a great deal of fear about cancer and being given a cancer diagnosis, but research has shown that, compared with cancer outcomes from 20 years ago, cancer mortality rates have decreased and that many people are living longer with a cancer diagnosis. What has changed during this time?
There is now a greater focus on early detection to improve cancer outcomes, but people are often unsure about attending screening appointments or just don’t want to think about their health and so put it off. People receive information from many different sources; family, friends, the internet, social media, and sometimes this information can be confusing and conflicting. A cancer awareness conversation might be all that is needed for a screening appointment to be taken up.
If further information or support is needed, LCVS will be happy to provide resources to allow groups to access the information they need. We can provide this support in a number of a ways:
- Point organisations to up to date and easily accessible information about signs and symptoms of cancer, screening programmes and eligibility, cancer prevention and healthy lifestyle guidance.
- Delivery of a short Cancer Awareness presentation to staff, volunteers, and service users to open up a dialogue, start conversations and to learn more about the barriers your service users face to accessing screening appointments.
- Explore the ways in which your organisation can embed cancer awareness into its project delivery and support your service users to improve their health outcomes for no additional cost.
Look out for further posts from us and reach out to the LCVS team for further details; together we aim to improve cancer outcomes through simple conversations.
Cheshire and Merseyside Cancer Alliance Community delivery lead Moray Hayman, who leads the programme, said:
“This initiative seeks to support people living and working in our local communities to reduce their risk of dying from cancer by improving community understanding and awareness of signs and symptoms of cancer and encouraging appropriate health-seeking behaviour.
“We are also encouraging more people who experience cancer to be supported to achieve emotional wellbeing and to reduce stigma and discrimination relating to cancer diagnosis.
“By working with voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations, the scheme focuses on improving knowledge of the signs and symptoms of cancer within local communities, encouraging more people to go for NHS screening when they are invited and to reduce inequalities in access to high-quality cancer treatment.”