Walk the Walk Emergency Grant Awarded to Cancer Support Scotland

Cancer Support Scotland is the latest charity working on the frontline to be awarded an Emergency Grant by breast cancer charity Walk the Walk.

Nina Barough, Walk the Walk’s Founder and Chief Executive, was so concerned about the effect COVID-19 was having on the lives of those affected by cancer, she felt Walk the Walk really had to do something to help.

The £20,000 grant from Walk the Walk will help Cancer Support Scotland sustain the equivalent of two full time counsellors and their Lead Therapist for nearly three full months. In that time, those roles alone will be able to offer at least 540 mental wellbeing support sessions to people who are struggling to cope with cancer.

The pandemic has had a devastating effect on the lives of those affected by cancer and their families. Many are shielding, isolated, have money worries, treatments postponed, all resulting in anxiety. Loneliness is another key issue and it is more crucial than ever that the mental wellbeing support provided by Cancer Support Scotland is maintained at its current level over the coming months.

From the start of the pandemic, Cancer Support Scotland have been contacting thousands of vulnerable people by phone, providing a lifeline. As the months passed, the need for support services has increased, but at the same time like other charities, their fundraising has almost ceased.

With their headquarters in Glasgow currently closed, Cancer Support Scotland are now offering digital counselling and virtual stress management courses. This is addition to a wellbeing call service and a wide range of online self-care tools to help people cope with cancer today and in the future.

Maureen Thompson was diagnosed with lung cancer in March and had lifesaving surgery four weeks later as Scotland was in lockdown due to Covid-19. Maureen accessed Cancer Support Scotland’s counselling service by telephone in the months after surgery. She said:  “I don’t think I would have got through this without their help, I was so worried about not coming through it. I was in such a low mood when I got in touch with Cancer Support Scotland but thanks to my Counsellor Natalie, I got through my darkest days. Without them I wouldn’t have got where I am today. I could tell them anything that I was feeling. I am eternally grateful to Natalie for her help. Thank you to all of you.”

Nina Barough CBE, Founder and Chief Executive of Walk the Walk said: “During these very uncertain and worrying times, the team at Cancer Support Scotland have provided a vital lifeline for those affected by cancer and their families. The services offered by this wonderful charity are supporting the emotional wellbeing for those with cancer, and in these times of crisis, are needed more than ever. Walk the Walk is delighted that this Emergency Grant will enable Cancer Support Scotland to meet the growing demand for their online services, and hope that in the not too distant future, when their centre can safely open again, this online resource will continue to offer a vital service to those that need it.”

Rob Murray, CEO Cancer Support Scotland said:  “I could not be prouder of the hard work and dedication the Wellbeing Team at Cancer Support Scotland have shown throughout this pandemic. It has been a challenging and difficult time but we know we have been able to offer a critical service to those affected by cancer across Scotland. It is with huge thanks to Walk the Walk for gifting us an Emergency Grant that we will be able to continue supporting people across Scotland whenever they need us.”

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