Maggie’s is so grateful for the Royal Caledonian Charities Trust’s support, enabling us to help people with cancer. It is more important than ever during this challenging time of coronavirus.
Living with a cancer diagnosis is already an extremely difficult time, and the current situation has caused additional distress for people with cancer: late diagnoses, postponed or cancelled treatments and potentially poorer outcomes as a result, not being able to see loved ones, having to shield and recently – anxiety about coming out of shielding. Visitors told us they have felt lonely, isolated, even abandoned, and very anxious about the future and the long-term consequences of the pandemic. Maggie’s has been there to support them through this unsettling time.
When social distancing came into effect in March 2020, we had to work flexibly and adapt our programme to be delivered remotely, since activities at our centres were no longer able to go ahead. We increased our phone and email support and introduced individual and group sessions via Zoom, MS Teams and social media. It has been a learning time for all of us – both staff and visitors!
Meanwhile, we supported the NHS by redeploying some of our medically trained staff to join the frontline response to COVID-19. A number of our centres, including Maggie’s Fife and Maggie’s Edinburgh, were functioning as wellbeing hubs for the NHS staff to recuperate and relax in.
We are now able to offer both remote and individual face-to-face support for people affected by cancer in Scotland, with strict social distancing and hygiene measures in place. We will continue to provide blended support until we can deliver our full programme back in the centres.
However, our fundraising has been negatively affected, particularly our events and other community initiatives, and these challenges are likely to continue next year. We are doing all we can to ensure to remain a safe haven for people with cancer.