A service providing information and support for people affected by cancer in Campbeltown and Rothesay Libraries is being rolled out across Argyll and Bute.
The Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Services were developed in partnership with Argyll and Bute Council, NHS Highland, and Argyll Voluntary Action and opened last year.
Following the success of the services in Campbeltown and Rothesay Libraries, the service is being rolled out across Argyll and Bute. Macmillan is investing a further £300,000 into the service following a successful evaluation of the services. The evaluation found that people particularly liked the fact that the service was not in a medical setting and in a community space which makes it very accessible and more relaxed and friendly. The evaluation also found that the information and emotional support provided resulted in reduced anxiety and stress and people using the service really valued the support from volunteers who run the service as they have personal experience of cancer.
The services are run by a group of highly trained volunteers who can provide emotional and practical advice, access to information materials on various types of cancer and its treatment, or simply a listening ear. As well as specialist cancer information and emotional support, the service can refer people onto other services, including benefits advice, complimentary therapies and counselling.
Elspeth Atkinson, Director for Macmillan Cancer Support in Scotland said: “Cancer will be the toughest fight many people will face and it is important that those affected by cancer in Argyll and Bute have access to the support they need. We’ve seen the difference that the Macmillan Cancer Information and Support service in Campbeltown and Rothesay Libraries has already made to people in the area and are delighted to now be able to help expand this vital service.”
“It is thanks to the hard work and dedication of our supporters in Argyll and Bute who raise so much money for us that we are able to establish such a vital service. Macmillan believes that no one should face cancer alone and the continued support from people locally will help us to ensure that no one does.”
Christina West, Director of Operations, Argyll and Bute Community Health Partnership, "I am delighted that this invaluable service is providing the necessary information and support to our patients and their families, carers and friends. My thanks to Macmillan Cancer Support and their dedicated team of volunteers for their continuing efforts and commitment to providing this much needed service."
Argyll and Bute Council’s Policy Lead for Community and Culture, Councillor Robin Currie, said, “If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer, you will want all the information you can find and a chance to talk about it. The local library is a familiar place for most people, which makes Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Service easy to find and use.
“This funding is a marvellous boost for our communities as it enables us to roll out the service - currently providing tremendous support in Campbeltown and Rothesay Libraries - to our remaining libraries as well as on five island locations yet to be identified, and this will be done over a three year period starting this year. This is another opportunity for the council to extend the value of our libraries to become important locations for community activities, learning and information.”
The service also received a Bronze Excellence Award for Partnership Working as part of Argyll and Bute Council’s first ever service awards.
To find out more about the service contact Deirdre on 01586 555932 or drop into Campbeltown or Rothesay Libraries. More information can also be found at www.argyll-bute.gov.uk/macmillan