Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland and Macmillan Cancer Support are working together to provide a buddying service and practical support to people living with cancer, chest, heart and stroke conditions.
The charities say many people with these conditions who are shielding or trying to stay away from people in fear of the virus, are feeling isolated, lonely and finding it difficult to undertake basic tasks like going shopping.
Jane-Claire Judson, Chief Executive at Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland, said: “We are so pleased to be working with Macmillan Cancer Support to ensure that we can reach even more people in Scotland who need help right now. Many people living with chest, heart and stroke conditions, including Covid-19 and cancer are amongst the most vulnerable and are still being advised to shield.
That is why more people than ever before are in desperate need for our help, and working with Macmillan will make sure that together, we can help to reduce isolation and loneliness and to keep people safe and well in their homes during Covid-19 and beyond.
This partnership will allow us to give people the help and support they need, when they need it most and to make sure that no one is left to fight Coronavirus alone.”
Macmillan’s Telephone Buddies support service was set up after the Coronavirus hit, allowing its existing volunteers, many themselves classed as vulnerable to the virus, to continue providing support to people with cancer. Anyone with cancer can ask for a regular call from a “buddy” who will check in on them regularly to chat and listen with the aim of reducing feelings of isolation.
Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland has recruited and trained over 5000 Kindness Volunteers to support people across Scotland in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The aim of this project is to keep people safe and well in their own homes.
Through this partnership between Macmillan and Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland, volunteers can offer practical help and emotional support for those who are isolated, helping them with everyday tasks like collecting medication, collecting shopping, walking the dog or just having a chat over the phone.
Both charities recognise that many of their service users are living with multiple conditions so working together through the Telephone Buddies service and the Kindness Project means that people can be helped, supported and have their needs met during this very difficult time.
Janice Malone from Macmillan Cancer Support said: “We know many people with cancer are feeling very isolated right now, while many are struggling with having their practical needs met.
“We are delighted to be working with Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland to set up a new service that means anyone who comes to us for emotional support will be referred to them for practical help and vice versa.
“It makes sense to work together in such a difficult time, particularly as many people with cancer will have other health conditions such as heart problems.”
To access and find out more about the Macmillan Telephone Buddies service please visit www.macmillan.org.uk
Or you can call the Macmillan Support Line on 0808 808 00 00 (7 days a week, 8am-8pm)
To get help from Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland’s Kindness Project call the Advice Line on 0808 801 0899 or visit: www.chss.org.uk