Aberdeen-based cancer charity CLAN is to set up a support group in Shetland following the tremendous fund-raising effort carried out in the isles last year.
The move comes in response to local demand and honours a pledge made by CLAN chiefs after Shetland contributed more than £600,000 in the CLAN 1,2,3 appeal towards building a new cancer centre in Aberdeen.
The first meeting of the CLAN (Cancer Link Aberdeen and North) support group will be at 7pm on 20th April at the Freefield Centre in Lerwick. This was decided through an open meeting last month, attended by CLAN chief executive Debbie Thomson, and addresses the need for an outreach service in Shetland.
Many Shetland cancer patients and their families and friends have benefited from the CLAN charity, which offers accommodation in CLAN Haven while receiving treatment in Aberdeen, as well as counselling and alternative therapies in CLAN House.
However feedback from patients often indicated that after leaving the security of CLAN, they were “left to their own devices”.
The local group will be co-ordinated by Janette Budge, who is trained in complementary therapies.
Following her visit to Shetland Mrs Thomson said: “We were delighted to see so many people at our open meeting last month and very much appreciated their feedback on how CLAN can best offer support locally. It was clear from this meeting and from comments received afterwards that there was a desire for a support group and I am pleased that we have been able to set this up quickly.
“The group will be facilitated by our local co-ordinator, Janette Budge, and will be an opportunity for anyone affected by cancer to meet with others in a similar situation. Having the opportunity to share stories and experiences in a relaxed and supportive atmosphere can be hugely beneficial.
“At the first meeting Janette has organised a short talk on complementary therapies on the cancer journey and this will be followed by tea and home bakes. In time the group may decide to invite other guest speakers to some of their meetings but this will be something for the members themselves to decide.”
The Shetland steering committee for the project has Catherine Hughson as chairwoman. She said: “We would like to thank everyone who has completed a questionnaire – your comments will help the steering group to establish the best way forward. It’s not too late to have your say. Copies of the questionnaire are available on the CLAN website or, if you prefer, please just write or call us with your comments or ideas.” Contact details are: (01595) 743901 or email email@example.com
CLAN fund-raising manager Susan Crighton and finance manager Susan Christie will attend the next steering group meeting on 20th April at 11am. Susan Crighton said: “People in Shetland have made such a huge contribution to our CLAN 1,2,3 campaign to build a new cancer support centre in Aberdeen and I am delighted that we are now going to be able to develop services in Shetland. This means that we will be able to continue to support those who have stayed with us in Aberdeen as well as welcoming new people.”
CLAN is an independent charity which offers support to anyone affected by cancer. From CLAN House and CLAN Haven in Aberdeen and its services in the community the charity covers the whole of Grampian, Orkney and Shetland.
● For further information please contact Janette Budge on (01950) 422452 or Karen Scott, CLAN islands’ co-ordinator on (01856) 873393 or visit CLAN’s website at www.clanhouse.org. The first meeting of the support group is at the Freefield Centre on Tuesday 20th April at 7pm.