This World Cancer Day (February 4th), many people affected by cancer and other life threatening illnesses feel relegated to the side lines due to the global pandemic. However, The Sara Lee Trust continues to provide a ‘hand to hold’ for them with telephone and video counselling that has proved to be a lifeline for so many who are feeling added stress from the pandemic and restrictions.
The Sara Lee Trust provides counselling, complementary therapies and therapeutic group activities to people affected by cancer and other life threatening illnesses in Hastings and Rother. The Trust is the only organisation providing this support in the area.
The Trust has also joined forces with European partners and Rother Voluntary Action in establishing I-KNOW-HOW, a project designed to support people diagnosed with cancer whilst in employment.
Michael O'Rourke from the Trust, said, “As part of the project, we interviewed employees who had been diagnosed with cancer. We discovered that while employees expected their employer to take the lead in managing time away from work to deal with cancer, the employers assumed their employee would tell them what support they needed. This is where I-KNOW-HOW fits in, by bridging the gap between employers and employees to help them communicate more clearly.”
The I-KNOW-HOW project has created a training programme for volunteers to support people considering working options following a cancer diagnosis. The team is also working with local employers to enhance the support they can offer to an employee, should they be diagnosed with cancer. Training of their volunteers is underway, and they expect to begin supporting people within the next couple of months. Find out more about becoming a Volunteer Support Worker.