Partnership has helped with support
The two groups have won awards for info service
A new partnership between West Lothian Council and Macmillan Cancer Support has helped almost 1000 people in the last year - almost exclusively thanks to volunteers.
Following the departure of the NHS staff member employed in the West Lothian Cancer Information and Support Service, the service was adopted by Macmillan @ West Lothian and relaunched as Macmillan @ Carmondean Connected in a new area within the Livingston centre library. It is one of five established in the county.
Elaine Nisbet, anti poverty and welfare advice manager, told a meeting of the council’s Voluntary Organisations Development and Scrutiny Panel that the service was largely drawn from volunteers, with nine extra recruited over the year to bring the number to 20.
Working out of the five community centres and partnerships across West Lothian the volunteers had contributed 1500 hours of work offering advice and information during 330 drop-in sessions throughout the year.
Over 800 people were given help or information at the drop-ins with 316 referrals to partner services and over 2000 cancer information publications issued.
The service has also made good progress in setting up targeted Awareness Months focusing on different cancer themes.
A report to committee said “more people affected by cancer in West Lothian have been able to access the support they require at a challenging time in their lives.”
Councillor Bruce Fairbairn asked if it was the case that men over 50 were among the most hard to reach groups and suggested that the partnership establish links with the Walking Football group based in Whitburn which is open to both men and woman.
The partnership has won awards from Macmillan for its information and support services and plans to roll out 10 more advice and information points including one in Linlithgow.