We cannot quite believe that it has been 1 year of Al’s Pals and 1 year of a life with a Covid pandemic. I am sure many of us thought that life would be a bit easier by now, but the roll out of the Covid vaccination gives us some hope. Hope is such a strong word and a word that we encompass dearly within the charity.
Al’s Pals have been continuing to support patients in the cancer centre, but this past year has been challenging. With only 3 volunteers allowed within the centre we have another 13 all waiting to support patients. Our volunteers have all showed extreme patience and we commend them for that. We thank the volunteers that have been in the centre supporting patients. Just chatting to patients who are receiving chemotherapy can make a huge difference. Cancer is like having a black cloud as patients are always waiting nervously for test results, or if they are in remission there is always the panic of ‘Will it come back’ This is why those words of ‘hope’ and Al’s Pals ethos of positivity is so important for anyone going through cancer.
We hope that as lockdown eases through the roadmap, Al’s Pals can slowly become the charity that it set out to be. Our vision of seeing Al’s Pals volunteers throughout the cancer centre chatting to patients will remain although there will be many more of us, we can still provide the phone calls to the patients and their families at home. Going forward, We will be allowed up into the wards and be able to chat and support patients and their families through these stressful and upsetting times. We can refer patients and their families to other vital services that may be relevant to them. We can offer end of life support for the family as well. We want people to see Al’s Pals as the go to place if they are struggling for anything as we are willing to address any issue that relates to cancer, treatment, and families.
So, what does the future hold for Al’s Pals? We hope to share our vision of providing cancer support as we do in hospital but in people’s homes and eventually providing this support in other hospitals within our region. There is lots to plan for and still so much to do and the Covid pandemic and lockdown has certainly halted this to a point, however what is vital is that we continue to support patients in any way that we can whilst going through this, sharing our positivity and love to all those associated with the charity and we hope we can continue to do this for a long time come what may.