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Cancer help service in libraries restarts after Covid restrictions ease

PEOPLE affected by cancer are once again being given the chance to talk to a friendly face about their fears and get advice on how best to deal with the disease.

The invaluable free service provided by the local Cancer Information and Support Service has now fully restarted after Covid restrictions were eased.

The advice sessions are being held in four local libraries throughout Renfrewshire for the first time in almost two years.

The Cancer Information and Support Service is a partnership between the Macmillan Cancer Support charity and OneRen – the local charitable trust providing culture, leisure and sporting opportunities to help people enjoy active and healthy lives.

The drop-in sessions are run by experienced and specially-trained Macmillan volunteers, who can help people who have been diagnosed with cancer and their family and friends.

They are given information on different forms of cancer and their treatments with advice on the wide range of resources on offer from Macmillan Cancer Support.

The service also gives people the chance to simply sit and chat in privacy in a comfortable and welcoming environment.

The Cancer Information and Support Service sessions are being held at Erskine Library, every Tuesday between 2pm and 4pm; Ferguslie Library, on Wednesdays between 10am and noon; Renfrew Library, on Thursdays between 2pm and 4pm and Johnstone Library, on Fridays between 2pm and 4pm.

And as Covid restrictions ease, an even wider range of resources and services will be available at the sessions, which began in 2013 and was the first such service in the country at the time.

Joyce Higgins, Digital and Library Development Manager at OneRen said: “As well as our volunteers being very well trained, they are also a friendly face and very empathetic to the problems and issues people face when they are affected by cancer.

“We’ll also give people the opportunity to ask the questions or talk about the concerns that they perhaps didn’t ask about when they were first told they had cancer.

“Our service provides a wide range of information booklets we can give people who come to us and we can also request specific booklets if we do not already have them in stock.”

Lorna Mullen,OneRen’s Macmillan Health and Wellbeing Support Officer added: “Many times we’ve seen people come to us feeling a bit lost and needing to talk.

“But we’re here to listen and give people the chance to speak to someone about having to face up to cancer and what lies ahead for them in terms of their treatment.

“People tell us that they find it easier to talk to us about the fears they don’t want to burden their families with and the advice we give about getting financial help also eases their mind.”

The OneRen Cancer Information and Support Service are also looking to expand the initiative and for people to train as a Macmillan volunteer. Anyone interested should email macmillan@renfrewshire.gov.uk.

And for more information on the service, go to the OneRen website www.oneren.org/wellbeing/active-wellbeing/move-more-renfrewshire or email macmillan@renfrewshire.gov.uk.