A charity that supports people in Staffordshire who are living with cancer has told how it has had to adapt its services as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.
Pink Sisters Staffordshire was founded in September 2015 andhas been a registered charity since April 2019.
It offers both practical and emotional support to those living with cancer – as well as their families and those caring for them who are also affected by the disease.
The charity is called Pink Sisters but men are welcome to join too. The service currently offers support to two men living with cancer, with the charity making it clear that everyone is welcome to join if they feel they need support.
Normally, the charity offers various forms of face-to-face support, including monthly meetings, home visits, help with shopping and company during hospital appointments.
Later this year, the charity will also be opening its first ever premises – a drop-in centre in Meir.
But under current circumstances, the physical services have been paused, and the charity is relying on its online and telephone services instead.
Jax Mackenzie, founder of Pink Sisters, said: “We have a private Facebook group for our members where we can support them,but they can also look out for each other. We’ve always had this but it has become invaluable to us now.
“We also have older ladies who are not on social media so we are in constant telephone contact with them.”
Trustee Janet Stanway added: “We also have our family page for family members or those who are supporting people in their life living with cancer.
“A cancer diagnosis affects everyone and everyone involved needs support.”
Jax, who also works as an office manager in a school, added: “We have had to adapt recently. We had our first online meeting on Zoom recently, just to test it out.
“We are going to run these weekly so people can pop in and out of them whenever they feel they might need support.
“It’s important for us to help. We always say ‘together we are stronger’.”
Janet added: “We have made ourselves available for anyone who needs us. We had a member who called us to say she couldn’t get her prescription so we went and picked it up for her.
“And we are even helping people outside of the charity. We want to look out for anyone who is vulnerable right now and offer whatever help we can.”
Jax and Janet, and their volunteer helpers, have been practising social distancing when delivering items to people in need. They have also been wearing gloves and carrying hand sanitizer.
The two friends emphasise that many of their members need extra support right now. They are having half the treatments they usually would and they are scared, which is why it is so important that Pink Sisters continues to help.
Many members also have low or no immunity due to the medication that they take so are self-isolating and struggling to get the supplies that they so desperately need.
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Pink Sisters is asking the public for donated items, particularly perishable and non-perishable food, toiletries, cleaning products and jigsaw puzzles..
If you would like to help Pink Sisters with donations or by volunteering, or if you need their support, you can contact Jax on 07786007315 or Janet on 07714166309.
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