COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on charities and although Al’s Pals launched this year we have tried to remain as positive as we can be and we have been trying to raise funds as and where we can in these difficult times. Covid 19 has not only affected our income stream but sadly it has affected our services as we are restricted with what we can and cannot do when supporting cancer patients. Our wonderful volunteers are desperate to start supporting cancer patients in Milton Keynes University hospital, we want to be on hand to support the patients who are not only facing cancer which in itself is like carrying a black cloud around with you but also facing the struggles of Covid and now more recently another lockdown. What does this mean to cancer patients? Al’s Pals can continue to serve refreshments and chat to patients whilst they are receiving treatment and we can provide patients with cheering up gifts or food like our recent afternoon tea. Anything we can do to make your day slightly better we will do it. Sadly, we are unable to visit patients in the ward currently, but we are happy to chat over the phone day or night and can support patients that way. Our volunteers have all experienced cancer in some way. Some of them have had cancer themselves and some have supported loved ones through cancer. If you or a family member/friend just needs an impartial person to have a chat to and offload or talk about something other than cancer then give us a call and we would be more than happy to help you as much as we can.
HOW HAS COVID IMPACTED CANCER TREATMENT?
When coronavirus hit back in March, thousands of vital cancer treatments, appointments and care were postponed or cancelled. The consequences of this disruption to cancer services are impossible to ignore. People still aren’t able to get the support they need, not only is this affecting people medically but emotionally as well.
@Macmillan are fighting back and Al’s Pals have already signed, and you can too. This second wave’ that we are now facing will no doubt see further disruption to cancer services, and we fear this will lead to even more people waiting for treatment. Macmillan are campaigning harder than ever for urgent action from UK Governments to prevent this. Please sign so we can continue fighting for the forgotten C
*Shockingly @cancer research uk they’re expecting to see a £160 million drop in fundraising income between now and March 2021. This is so sad not only for what that means to cancer patients, but we appreciate the impact this will have with all future research which is vital in trying to tackle this.
**Cancer research has also seen a dramatic decrease in referrals. Between April and August 2020 they estimated that 350,000 fewer people were referred than normal in the UK. Fewer people were going to their GP (this could be because of people not wanting to go to their GP’s but also because GP’s could be reluctant to risk sending people to hospitals during the pandemic)
***There has been a 37% drop in the number of patients beginning their treatment compared with the same time the previous year (Cancer research statistics)
****1 in 3 cancer patients said that their treatment had been impacted and 4 in 10 said that their tests including those to find out whether their cancer had spread or returned had been affected
*****A massive 7 in 10 people felt that this impacted their mental health as well as they felt more frustrated and anxious.
(All statistics provided by Cancer research UK)
GETTING THROUGH THIS TOGETHER
This is so frustrating, as a service that wants to support cancer patients and ensure that they feel positive about their treatment and supported, it appears this is not always the case. We don’t want this going on any longer than it should and only we can change that and listen and act to the guidelines in place. Cancer affects so many people and as I am sure anyone that has been through cancer does not take life for granted. Treasure each day and although times are particularly hard especially in light of the Covid pandemic and another lockdown. Al’s Pals wants you to know we are here for you spreading hopefully just a small bit of sunshine and positivity in these difficult times. My family and I are so positive, especially in honour of my wonderful dad, so we must stay positive and get through this together…