How are Cancer Charities Coping Through Covid?

Linc Rendcomb Ward

LINC – The Leukaemia and Intensive Chemotherapy Fund is a small local charity in Gloucestershire. We do whatever we can for patients and their families fighting blood cancer. We try to be their lifeline by offering emotional support. Their relief by providing financial grants. Their comfort by funding the little extras and their breakthrough by funding a research nurse.

Things have been very different for all of us over the last 18 months and that includes the work at LINC. Alongside the medical and health professionals, our LINC clinical psychologists, entirely funded by the charity, have been working on the wards throughout the pandemic to support haematology patients undergoing cancer treatments. These treatments are tough at the best of times, but Covid-19 has created even more challenging and sometimes frightening circumstances for haematology patients.

Many of our patients have reduced immunity and therefore highly vulnerable to infection so being caught up in the middle of the pandemic has been scary. Visiting restrictions to reduce the risk of Covid-19 has meant that in-patient intensive chemotherapy patients have faced long stays in hospital with no access to the visits from loved ones that make treatment a little more tolerable. We have also been supporting patients in the community who had to get though long months of shielding. As life returns to some sort of new normality, LINC patients remain clinically highly vulnerable, so the LINC psychology service remains absolutely vital.

Providing financial grants helps patients who find themselves in hospital for months on end. Taking care of a mortgage payment, helping with childcare or dog walking can relieve some of the added life pressures so that the patient can concentrate on their treatment.

The eight isolation side rooms in Cheltenham General Hospital have been completely refurbished by LINC and new walk-in showers were fitted.

All charities have faced a challenging time with so many of the usual fundraising events cancelled but as we emerge into the new normal there are still many ways that you can help us to make that difference. Please have a look at our website www.lincfund.org or follow us on social media to keep to date with all our activities and how they help.

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