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Cancer Survivor Launches New Macmillan Service

21/03/2014


A Glasgow gran who beat cancer with the support of Macmillan has officially launched another cancer service in the city.

Linda Telfer was given “invaluable” help from the Macmillan @ Libraries project, which provides assistance on all aspects of living with the illness at libraries across Glasgow.

Cancer patients, their relatives, carers and friends have been benefiting from the unique partnership between Glasgow Libraries and Macmillan Cancer Support. The groundbreaking project has already reached thousands of people and Milton Library last week became the 20th Glasgow library to offer cancer support services with the launch of a drop-in centre.

Linda, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in January last year, was on hand to cut the ribbon almost a year after first seeking support from Macmillan @ Libraries volunteers.

She was given free access to alternative therapy sessions, exercise classes, and met with other cancer patients two or three days a week.

Linda now has the all-clear - and has been volunteering with the service for 10 months to help others.

The 55-year-old, from Crookston, said: “The Macmillan @ Libraries service was exactly what I needed and was so important in helping me regain my health. It also gave me an inner confidence.

“Being in an environment with other people who were on the same journey really helped. We could all appreciate and understand what each other was going through, and if someone was very tired or a bit down.

“It was a great opportunity to have a wee chat with people in the same boat – but what we didn’t talk about was cancer. We spoke about our lives, families, and going on holiday.

“When you go to hospital it’s all about cancer. So it was really nice to get away from that and talk about people, friendship and other things in life.”

Linda has volunteered at drop-in services at Pollok Civic Realm and Cardonald Library, as well as doing admin work at Mitchell Library.

She said: “I enjoy sitting down with people, having a chat, and helping them find the support that’s available to them. And it’s not just cancer patients, it’s their family, friends, carers who are all affected by the illness.

“The Macmillan @ Libraries service offers so much and I’m happy to play my part after the support I was given. Whether it’s benefits referrals, advice on complementary therapies, or giving out Macmillan booklets, I enjoy pointing people in the right direction.”

A record number of people are accessing Macmillan @ Libaries support services.  There have been 3,650 attendances by people at libraries in their own communities over the past 18 months, and they have received crucial support thanks to the groundbreaking initiative. Project bosses revealed that 278 people accessed the cancer services in January, which is a record since the scheme began in June 2012.

Glasgow Life operates the city’s 32 libraries, along with the iconic Mitchell Library. Councillor Archie Graham, Chair of Glasgow Life, said: “This unique partnership between Macmillan and Glasgow Libraries is making a huge difference to people’s lives.

“A wide range of services, from benefits and financial advice to counselling and complementary therapies, are delivered within local communities by our team of dedicated volunteers and local partners.

“The service reaches beyond those diagnosed with cancer as family members, carers and friends whose lives are also affected by the illness are offered support in number of areas.

“The Macmillan @ Libraries project in Glasgow is a first for the UK, possibly the world, and we are extremely proud of the progress made so far and the number of lives we have touched.

“Milton Library is the latest to offer or range of cancer support services. But we won’t stop there. It is our intention to roll the project out to every one of Glasgow’s network of 32 community libraries by the end of this year.

“We want to ensure everyone in Glasgow can access cancer information and support in their local community.”​

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