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A volunteer from MacMillan Cancer Support charity speaking to a member of public

News Glasgow Cancer Information & Support Service Celebrates Five Years of Success

An innovative service which provides much needed support to people affected by cancer in Glasgow celebrates its fifth anniversary this year.

Over 12,000 people have visited one of 34 services, based in libraries and sport centres across Glasgow. Some of the key successes include:

• 49% of attendees were people with cancer and the rest were family, friends and carers
• 55% of all attendances main reason for attending was for ‘someone to talk to’
• Of those attending our services in 2016, 45% were classified as 'Urban Adversity' and 32% were classified as 'Financially Stretched'.
• Working in partnership with Cancer Support Scotland the service has provided more than 1,200 complementary therapies sessions and 1,790 counselling appointments
• 112 accredited volunteers have provided over 32,000 volunteering hours to date
• The service won the 2016 ‘Perfect Partnership Award’ at the Scottish Charity Awards and has been shortlisted for a Macmillan Excellence Award in November 2017
• The volunteering team have won multiple awards (both national and international) and were recently shortlisted for Scottish Health Awards

Following the roll out of Macmillan @ Glasgow Libraries Cancer Information & Support Services across the city, people across Glasgow are now at most only one mile from cancer information and support.

Offering emotional and practical support to people affected by cancer, the innovative service operates across Glasgow’s 33 libraries and Scotstoun Sport Centre, to create a welcoming, friendly environment for people affected by cancer in the city, along with a citywide Outreach Programme which delivers services to hard to reach communities. A further eight services operate in West Dunbartonshire.

Each of the 34 services provide access to cancer information and support. Sixteen venues also offer service users a listening ear - the chance to pop in for a cup of tea and talk to trained volunteers about how they are feeling - along with signposting to a number of other Macmillan funded partner services in Glasgow including physical activity, benefits and financial support and holistic needs assessments.

A further eight library venues house private rooms offering free complementary therapy and counselling appointments, delivered in partnership with Cancer Support Scotland. All of which are available to family, friends and carers along with the patient themselves. This local access has removed many of the barriers associated with accessing such services.

Macmillan’s Head of Services, Janice Preston said:

“We are delighted to see the tremendous impact this service is having on people affected by cancer in Glasgow. The difference it has made to the lives of people affected by cancer in the five years shows how vital and valued this support is.

“We couldn’t provide this service without the all the people who donate and fundraise for us in Glasgow so would also like thank everyone who supports us. Every penny really helps to improve the lives of people affected by cancer.”

Councillor David McDonald, Depute Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow Life, added:

“Sadly, there are thousands of people in our city, like Alison and her family, who are living with the impact of cancer, either directly or through a loved one.

“Thanks to this unique partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support, Glasgow Life offers practical and emotional support to help ensure that everyone who is affected by cancer in Glasgow will continue to have access to quality information and someone to talk to in their own community, because no one in our city should have to face cancer alone.”

The Macmillan @ Glasgow Libraries Cancer Information & Support Services has also provided evidence and support to roll service out similar services across Scotland, including Edinburgh, West Lothian, Argyle & Bute, West Dunbartonshire, Dundee, & Lanarkshire.

Glasgow Libraries works in partnership with Macmillan to provide a network of cancer information & support services at the heart of the community, offering emotional and practical support to anyone who is affected by cancer. To find out more, please visit the website or call 0141 287 2999.