Glasgow Life announces phone support on World Cancer Day

Glasgow Life announces phone support on World Cancer Day

Glasgow Life, the charity that delivers culture and sport in Glasgow, is offering telephone-based support for people across the city affected by cancer.

Delivered by the team behind the innovative cancer support programme, Macmillan @ Glasgow Libraries, the service provides emotional and practical support, at the end of a phone.

On World Cancer Day (Thursday), a day that unites people and communities worldwide to raise awareness, Glasgow Life is hoping to encourage anyone affected by cancer in the city to simply pick up the phone and talk to the Macmillan @ Glasgow Libraries team.

To find out more, or just to chat, you can call Macmillan @ Glasgow Libraries on 0141 287 2903 and the team will call you back. Lines are open Monday to Friday, 9am–5pm.

Depute Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow Life, Councillor David McDonald said:

Sadly, there are thousands of people in our city living with the impact of cancer. We know that living with cancer or waiting to start cancer treatment is not easy, and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic has made it even more difficult for people.

A cancer diagnosis can be incredibly isolating, and during the pandemic it can be even harder to find someone to talk to about how you’re feeling.

Simple things like getting support from your loved ones can be harder at the moment, and of course current restrictions and social distancing can limit the contact you have with them. That’s why we want people to know that practical and emotional support from Macmillan @ Glasgow Libraries is still available to them, helping to ensure that everyone affected by cancer in our city has someone to talk to and access to quality information.”

With libraries across Scotland temporarily closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, the phone-based service is offering a lifeline to people with cancer and their family, friends and carers, who may be feeling lonely, isolated or in need of someone to talk to.

Almost two thirds (65%) of callers to Macmillan @ Glasgow Libraries in December 2020 cited their main reasons for calling as simply wanting to talk to someone about how they were feeling.

Liz Wallace, age 54 from Riddrie has called Macmillan @ Glasgow Libraries. Liz said:

The experience I have had has been indescribable. The fact that I know I am not going through this on my own, and having someone to talk to other than my family when I am feeling anxious and a little down makes me feel better, and look forward to what the future holds.

The team were calling me regularly to give me emotional support as well as helping me to access financial support I was entitled to. I can honestly say going through this ordeal with my liver cancer has been made easier to deal with, and if it was not for their magnificent workers I would not be looking forward to the future in the way that I do.

Thank you is nowhere near a strong enough word for me to say to show my appreciation for each and every single thing they have done for me. I would not hesitate to tell anyone going through cancer treatment to contact them, they will do anything and everything that is required to help you through the ordeal and make your life easier as well as giving you more support than you will ever require.”

Glasgow Life’s Macmillan Programme Manager, Craig Menzies, said:

The stark reality is that cancer can affect anyone, at any time in their life, and it sadly hasn’t stopped because of the pandemic. Every day, 86 people in Scotland are diagnosed with cancer and while it is not always life threatening, it is life changing. Regardless of the diagnosis, life may never be the same again.

We know that the needs of people affected by cancer haven’t stopped because of the pandemic either.

And of course the life changing effects of cancer is not restricted to the person living with cancer themselves, but can often create the need for additional support in the lives of friends, family and carers. In these turbulent times, emotional and practical support, and even just someone to talk to, has never been more needed.”

More than 250,000 people are living with cancer in Scotland, a figure that is set to grow to almost 300,000 by 2025.

Almost half of all people (38%) who called Macmillan @ Glasgow Libraries in December 2020 described themselves as a person with cancer, with a further 50% identifying themselves as a friend or family member of a person living with cancer.

Research conducted by Macmillan Cancer Support shows that Covid-19 is having an impact on people living with cancer across the UK. Studies revealed that the pandemic has increased the risks of isolation from family and friends, feelings of loneliness, vulnerability and anxiety for people affected by cancer.

With a number of cancer services disrupted by the pandemic, Macmillan Cancer Support revealed that 41% of people living with cancer whose treatment has been delayed or cancelled were significantly more likely to be feeling stressed, anxious or depressed because of Covid-19, compared to just 25% of people whose care hadn’t been disrupted.

Gordon McLean, strategic partnership manager, Macmillan Cancer Support, said:

Our services have had to adapt in the last year with the pandemic to make sure we are still there for people living with cancer. People are still being diagnosed every day or living with a cancer diagnosis and need support now more than ever.

The Macmillan services in Glasgow offer lots of support either virtually or by phone. They are still there working hard to make sure that help is easily accessible during these challenging times.”

As well as emotional support, the Macmillan @ Glasgow Libraries team also provides a wide range of free, expert and easy to understand Macmillan information about cancer to people living with and beyond cancer, their loved ones, carers and people who are bereaved.