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Manor Park cancer support group could close due to funding woes

PUBLISHED: 14:10 10 September 2018 | UPDATED: 14:10 10 September 2018

Tina Dugard, manager of Cancer, You Are Not Alone. Picture: Paul Bennett

Tina Dugard, manager of Cancer, You Are Not Alone. Picture: Paul Bennett

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A cancer support charity in Manor Park might not see the end of the year after funding was stopped.

Cancer, You Are Not Alone is funded by the Newham Clinical Commissioning Group.

In December, the CCG issued a letter saying the group was under evaluation, and in May, the contract stopped.

“Our contract was due to end in March, and they decided not to renew it,” said Tina Dugard, who works for CYANA.

“They gave us a two-month extension to place our 88 patients elsewhere, but we couldn’t manage it.

“We’re still delivering services, but we’re running on reserves. We think we’ve got until December.”

The organisation provides intensive holistic cancer support, including one-to-one counselling, home visits, and group therapy.

Tina said the CCG told them they wouldn’t renew the contract because there are other local services which do the same job.

“Cancer is an incredibly isolating disease,” she said.

“When people are diagnosed, they tend to lose their family and friend support, because they’re in and out of hospital all the time.

“Everyone who works here is a former patient or carer, so we know exactly what patients are going through. Everyone who comes through those doors gets a personalised treatment package, from diagnosis to recovery. Nowhere else offers that.”

The organisation stripped back its services, and staff hours have been slashed.

“It’s devastating,” Tina said.

“One of our workers came as a volunteer, and then a patient, so this is her life. It’s heart-breaking thinking we’ll have to abandon people.”

The organisation has begun fundraising efforts, holding sponsored walks, BBQs, and collection pots in shops. But with £90,000 a year running costs, it’ll need a bigger source of funding to survive.

A spokesman from Newham CCG said: “The CCG undertook a rigorous review of the service ahead of its contract coming to its natural end.

“The CCG carefully considered whether reinvesting the sum previously provided was appropriate, based on the other services available in the borough.

“The CCG recognised there could be a gap around cancer support for Asian women and worked in partnership with Macmillan, Barts Health and the local authority to ensure an appropriate service was available to local people. This commenced in June 2018.”

On September 19, CYANA is holding a 35th birthday party for the organisation at the Beckton Community Centre from 1-4pm.


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