Community First News & Updates
Alex reflects on the Big Community Cancer Conversation
What has always been paramount to me throughout this process is to ensure that the people I listen to get the opportunity to link and connect with others.
When talking about gaps and priorities that people have regarding Support for those affected by cancer in the Wiltshire area, I have been keen to create a space where those people could have a platform to voice these feelings directly to Macmillan and other partners of the Cancer Connections project.
On the 15th of January I arranged an event that could aim to give this opportunity. The event saw 45-50 people come together to have conversations around how they felt about Wiltshire’s current services. Over 20 organisations were present in the room.
Through the listenings that I have carried out thus far it was clear that people’s concerns stretched far beyond specific cancer support groups and treatment; it affected everything in their lives:
Transport, Finance, isolation, Friendships, the way they perceive themselves in their community! Existing groups and support that I spoke to felt they needed opportunity to reach out to people to let them know that they were there; and help find solutions together that fit around our Rural county that could see help reaching further.
This event offered one opportunity for that and received wonderful feedback from the people that attended. It was fabulous to see people who felt strongly about their community situation speaking to people who wanted to know more and perhaps, didn’t get as much opportunity in their roles to speak to those people . It was also encouraging to see these people working together to make priorities that were truly focused on Wiltshire’s needs.
What really made the event for me was hearing the true and heartfelt stories of people like Robert, Maggie, Louise and John; who were kind enough to share their feelings and experience in a way that told their story and helped us understand where gaps may lie.
THE MAIN PRIORITIES RAISED WERE TRANSPORT, LOCAL SUPPORT, FUNDING AND SHARING INFORMATION… AND EACH OF THOSE HAD THE FOLLOWING NEEDS FOR IMPROVING ON THESE THINGS..
- LINK THE NETWORK
- CREATE INFO HUB AND DIRECTORY
- RAISE AWARENESS OF WHAT’S AVAILABLE
- MORE SUPPORT NEEDED
Because of this event our volunteer network has grown from 5 people to 20 and is still welcoming more…
I would also like to add a special thank you to: Louise, Robert, Maggie and John from Cancer Support Salisbury Drop in. Without them there to tell their stories so honestly I really don’t think the day would have been the same.
It was inspiring to listen to you and everybody has mentioned how amazing you are.
Keep being incredible!