Seed deliveries allow volunteers to grow their support network!

Seed deliveries allow volunteers to grow their support network!

by Tom Martin (June 2020)

SUNFLOWER seeds sent through the post is just one of the many ways that the Macmillan Information and Support Service in West Lancashire are supporting shielding cancer patients.

The seeds were sent out to 86 vulnerable patients to let them know that the Skelmersdale-based service was thinking of them, helping them feel connected and providing a wellbeing boost.

This was on top of a range of practical steps implemented by the team from their unit in the Concourse Shopping Centre.

Caroline Flynn, Macmillan Information and Support Service Manager said: “We’ve supported patients by organising food deliveries and providing financial support, and devices, to help ease isolation. But the simple little sunflower seeds have truly brought the widest smiles to people shielding.

“The arrival of seeds in the post with a little poem to cheer them up made people feel that somebody out there truly cared about them.

“Even though the shielding lockdown is going to be eased there will still be many cancer patients who do not feel confident about going back out into the wider world. They are going to require our ongoing support for some considerable time.”

Throughout the pandemic, the team has kept in regular telephone contact with patients, offers virtual health and wellbeing sessions, signposts to virtual adult learning classes, and encouraged patients to support one another through WhatsApp groups and social media.

The sunflower seeds, which were sent with an uplifting short poem, were clearly the icing on the cake of a raft of support – and were hugely appreciated by patients.

The West Lancs Information and Support Service remains open for advice via telephone, text email or Skype from Monday to Friday 9am-4pm (closed bank holidays). Or call 01695 402164.

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