A West Wales Macmillan information and support service is giving people with cancer the help they need over the phone during the coronavirus outbreak.

Macmillan information and support coordinators Rachel Kersey and Sarah Russell-Saw usually support people face-to-face.

But with government guidelines to stay at home in place, they are now offering their support over the phone to make sure people with cancer get the help they need when they are staying at home.

Rachel and Sarah are available to chat with people who have questions about cancer as well as helping people with cancer with advice they might need about staying well during these challenging times.

They are providing a much-needed listening ear and sharing tips and online links to promote self-care and emotional wellbeing.

So far, people have been calling to ask about what is happening with their appointments and treatment or to find out about locally available support.

Sarah and Rachel have been able to signpost them to other services such as Macmillan welfare benefits advice or link people up with support in their local community.

They both say it has been heart-warming and humbling to hear of the amazing things that local volunteers and organisations are coming together to do.

This includes delivering essentials such as groceries and prescriptions, helping with services such as dog-walking or simply checking in to chat.

Rachel said: “We have received some smashing comments, even when we do not feel that we have done very much!

“This just goes to show how important a person being there at the end of the line is for someone, especially during these uncertain times.”

Richard Pugh, Head of Partnerships for Macmillan Cancer Support in Wales, said: “This is a fantastic example of how Macmillan services are adapting to provide the vital support people with cancer need during the coronavirus outbreak when they are following the government’s advice to stay at home.

“As well as chatting to Rachel and Sarah, people can visit our website for a wealth of up-to-date information on cancer and coronavirus and they can also visit our online community for support too.”

If you live in Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire or Ceredigion you can contact Sarah and Rachel on 01437 773859 during weekdays between 9am and 5pm.

Comprehensive information and support, including Macmillan’s latest guidance and advice on the impact of coronavirus on cancer care, is available at www.macmillan.org.uk.

The charity’s online community continues to provide invaluable emotional and peer support.

The Macmillan Support Line is open Monday to Friday between 9am-5pm on 0808 808 00 00.

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