John Healey MP speaking at the launch event.jpg

A community based service which supports people affected by cancer in Rotherham has officially launched.

MP for Wentworth and Dearne RT Hon John Healey was among the guests who attended the official launch of the Macmillan Advocacy Service, which took place at Carlton Park Hotel.

The service is part of Citizens Advice Rotherham and is based at the Rain Building on Eastwood Lane.

It is free, confidential and open to anyone affected by cancer. Service users can speak to the team of volunteer advocates about any worries or concerns they may have, which could be around the physical, emotional and financial effects of cancer.

Advocates also help people affected by cancer to find and access the support they need quickly and easily - and can refer and signpost them to other local support services.

These include the Macmillan Benefits Service at Rotherham Borough Council and the Macmillan Information and Support Service at Rotherham Hospital, as well as other local partners.

Cancer nurses or other health professionals can make a referral on someone else’s behalf or people affected by cancer can self-refer by contacting the service directly.

RT Hon John Healey MP said:"In Rotherham we have come to know Macmillan as committed, specialist, long-term partners who have been working with the Council and hospital for many years to support people affected by cancer when they need it most.

“This new advocacy service reflects the way that cancer can have consequences well beyond people’s health and care needs.

“The inspiring Volunteer Advocates at the heart of this service are trained to help everyone affected by cancer live life as fully as they can.

“They’ll help people affected by cancer find the financial, practical, medical or emotional support they need, or they’ll fight for them to get it.”

Macmillan Cancer Support has invested around £140,000 into the service as part of its Macmillan Living With and Beyond Cancer Programme.

Macmillan Cancer Support’s Programme Manager for the North Steve Edwards added:

“Cancer can affect anyone and we know that receiving a cancer diagnosis can turn life upside down in a single moment.

“The addition of the Macmillan Advocacy Service in Rotherham links existing services together – including the excellent Macmillan services we already have in the local area – to provide support which is centred around the individual.

“Having a meaningful conversation about their needs with a person affected by cancer or their loved ones is very valuable.

“It’s a real privilege to be part of a service which represents that people centred support.”

Macmillan Advocacy Service Manager Julie Cox was also joined at the launch event by volunteer advocates and local people who have already benefited from using the service.

Julie added: “Having someone to talk to, who can give you the right information at a time when you need it, can make a huge difference to people affected by cancer.

“So far, we have been helping clients with everything from getting benefits advice to emotional support to accessing local community groups and services.

“The launch event was really well attended and it was great to see some of our service users there, as well as so many of our partner agencies.

“Thank you to our speakers John Healey MP, CEO of Citizens Advice Rotherham Nick Bussey and Steve Edwards from Macmillan Cancer Support for their great speeches.

“Also thanks to Carlton Park Hotel for hosting the event and to the team at Rotherham United Community Sports Trust for presenting us with a partnership award at the launch in recognition of our joint working.”