Throughout the COVID-19 health pandemic, there have been many examples of our communities responding to the exceptional circumstances to help those in need. Here, Cancer Connect NI shares its story.

Cancer Connect NI pre COVID-19 was a vibrant open-door centre welcoming cancer clients and their families and meeting individual needs eg listening ear, bra fitting, complementary therapies, support groups, headwear, specialist equipment, advice and support.  However in line with the Public Health Agency and Government guidelines and bearing in mind our clientele most of whom are in the highest risk category, the Centre closed to the public in March. Only essential work from the premises is being carried out when required and stringent measures have been put in place for the safety of all. A variety of activities outside of its usual services has been reshaped.

Essential Service
The charity continues to offer its essential telephone helpline service, operates an active social media presence where private messages can be received and email accessibility to cancer clients and their families who wish to seek advice and support. CCNI is acutely aware that those newly diagnosed or receiving cancer treatments are amongst the severest affected from the pandemic so now more than ever, the charity services are in much demand.

Food hampers
Volunteers have doorstep delivered dozens of nutritious food hampers to many cancer clients who have been shielding since early March.

Delivery and Collection of Equipment
Both the delivery and collection of equipment and aids such as rise and recliner chairs for the comfort of cancer clients have continued throughout this period. Our volunteers have adapted with the use of PPE and social distancing techniques to ensure this service could continue safely.

Clothing Banks
The charity’s clothing banks located throughout the county have seen an increase in need, as people have been de-cluttering throughout the lockdown period. This has resulted in an increased effort to clear these banks for continued public use and convenience.

Cancer Connect NI remains committed to its aims and objectives and most importantly to its clientele during the COVID-19 pandemic. The dedicated team at Cancer Connect NI will continue to be present for all our clients in order to extend an empathetic listening ear, be a client’s voice when and if required and give advice and support in these unprecedented times.