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Support for cancer carers ‘in sickness and in health’

Carers in the region looking after friends or relatives with cancer may be missing out on vital benefits and support. 


As part of national 'Carers Week' (18th to 24th June 2012), health professionals at County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust are reminding cancer carers that they are not alone.

The Trust's Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Service is available for emotional support, information and advice for people affected by cancer and those who care for them.

Andrea Elsbury, Health Improvement Service said: "We know there are currently two million people living with a cancer diagnosis and it's estimated that one in seven people (1.1million) are caring for someone living with cancer in the UK. 

"When we talk about 'carers', we mean anyone who provides unpaid help and support to someone who is ill, frail or has a long-term physical or mental health condition. Carers UK estimates that 625,000 people are affected by mental and physical ill health as a direct consequence of the stress and physical demands of caring.

"Through our Information and Support Centres we are here to help. We can provide confidential one-to-one practical advice and support about being a carer and have information on carer's welfare rights, grants, holidays, insurance and working while caring. We provide emotional support in a confidential and unrushed setting as well as running groups such as de-stress and relaxation sessions."

On Wednesday 20th June, between 10.00am and 12.00pm, the Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Centre, in Castle Dene Shopping Centre, Peterlee, is inviting carers of people with cancer to call in and see what is on offer. 

Andrea added: "During this year's Carers Week we are encouraging carers to pop in to find out what support and information is available and to pick up a free goody bag. Visitors can also meet our Macmillan benefits advisor who will be on hand to help with any financial and benefit queries.

"We are keen to let those caring for someone with cancer know that they are not alone; there is information and support available and there is always a listening ear. We would also encourage anyone caring for someone with cancer who is worried about their finances to come along to the cancer information centre and see our welfare rights advisor and find out what support the centre can offer."

 For further information please ring 0800 7834056 or 0191 5874500 or call into the centre at 20 Upper Chare, Castle Dene Shopping Centre, Peterlee SR8 1BW


Published 11th June 2012

'In recent times, I have utilised admissions to Richardson for respite direct from my fracture clinic, even at weekends. I have never worked anywhere with this efficiency before - it is reassuring and invaluable for the patient.'

Patient, Lowson / Starling Wards, Richardson Hospital