A YEAR into a project to help cancer patients it is time to lift the lid on the caring professionals who help people through the darkest of times.

Bury Cancer Support Service is halfway through a two year project linking up a whole host of services in the town to help people living with cancer.

The charity, based in Bolton Road, wanted to share the work they do providing a host of therapy options and support to people living with a cancer diagnosis.

Lynne Marland, a former nurse, helped found Bury Cancer Support Service (BCSS) in April 2003, to provide complementary therapies to help people alongside their treatment.

She said being a nurse helped her see "the gaps in support".

These gaps led her to explore methods of helping patients to deal with their emotional wellbeing.

BCSS offers a host of complementary therapies including aromatherapy, counselling, reflexology, and hypnotherapy.

They also have a cafe and lounge area where patients can socialise, relax and meet others in similar situations.

BCSS prides itself on not having appointments to make it easier for people to come in as and when they need help. Ms Marland explained they never turn people away and do not set a time limit on support. She said people never drop off their books and sometimes months will go by between visits, whereas other patients might come in several times a week.

Every person who comes through the door receives a holistic needs assessment to see what therapy can best support them.

Jan Katana, service manager at BCSS, said: "It's something we have always done and Macmillan have recognised that it needs to be done.

"Sometimes it's done in hospital but what was a priority at the beginning might have changed. From our perspective we believe they have to be done regularly and updated."

Issues taken into account in an assessment include a patient's physical, social, emotional and practical needs.

Where BCSS is not equipped to help project to link up support groups steps in.

Ms Katana said: "We found patients coming and asking about finance, debt, employment law. We don't have that level of expertise.

"We have had to dig about and find support for people."

Now thanks the to project, jointly funded by Macmillan and Bury Clinical Commissioning Group, the right support is at the tip of staff's fingers.

They can refer patients quickly to Age UK, Citizen's Advice, the council, or Bury Society for Blind and Partially Sighted People to name a few.

BCSS is open four days a week and sees people from all around the north west and staff estimate they get around 25 to 40 people through the door each day.

For more information visit burycancersupportcentre.com or call 0161 764 6609.

  • During the course of 2019 the Bury Times will be looking more into the services offered by Bury Cancer Support Service and the work they do.