A cancer charity and peer support group from Dorset have teamed up to spread their help to more people across the county.
Dorset Cancer Care Foundation (DCCF) and SCARS (Stalbridge Cancer & Recovery Support) are working together throughout this summer to encourage more families in rural communities in the north of the county to access financial and emotional help.
DCCF is based in Poole and offers grants to families experiencing financial difficulties because of cancer.
SCARS, based in Stalbridge, offers cancer patients and their families peer support, support signposting and holistic wellbeing provision. The group is also supported by Macmillan and features on its national website.
DCCF co-founder Eve Went said: “During the last five years since its inception DCCF has raised and given hundreds of thousands of pounds to Dorset people going through cancer, easing some of their financial stress and enabling them to afford what they desperately need, from specialist equipment, to wigs and household expenses, short breaks and much more.
“As a result of the efforts of our brilliant fundraisers and their events we are becoming very well known in east Dorset and increasingly in the west and south. But we want to help more people in the north and SCARS can help us to do that.”
SCARS was founded in 2014 by Tracy White who, having been through the difficulties of a cancer diagnosis and treatment found there was little local support available.
SCARS holds a regular monthly meeting enabling its members to discuss their experiences, concerns and to share advice – or simply just to have a coffee in a calm and relaxed environment away from the stresses of cancer and its many challenges.
Tracy said: “Over in this part of the county there is very little in the way of support for cancer patients and that was the catalyst for me to set up SCARS upon moving to Stalbridge.
“Many of the people we are contacted by or who we get to work with and support do not even know about the help available to them through DCCF, but thankfully our affiliation is already beginning to bear fruit.
“A lady we are currently working closely with from Shaftesbury has been struggling to afford her travel costs to hospital for her treatment, which adds to the anxiety that is already present after a cancer diagnosis.
“SCARS immediately made contact with DCCF which, within a very short time secured her a grant which will enable her to make her travel arrangements without the fear or worry of the financial impact.”
She continued: “This is the reason that Eve, DCCF’s chairman Chris Thomas and I were so keen to work together, as we were certain we could make a difference to people.
“We are extremely pleased to be affiliating with DCCF and hope to be able to tell many more stories like this before the end of 2019.”