We’re all thrilled to welcome Al’s Pals, a new charity in MK to provide ‘buddies’ for all cancer patients who love company and whose friends and family aren’t always available to share their journey with them on a regular basis.
Suzanne Brown, whose late Dad Alan Dumbell was receiving ongoing cancer treatment at MKUH, launched this service in his memory.
Why a cancer ‘buddy’ scheme was – and is – needed in Milton Keynes
Alan noticed that throughout his treatment as much as he was surrounded by his loving family he still felt very lonely and lost at times and he often discussed having a ‘buddy’ to support him and help him where he felt things were missing.
“Our volunteers understand the needs of someone who has cancer and how this can affect their own lives as well as their families, continues Suzanne. “We can offer support, companionship, empathy and a listening ear to any cancer patient from the start of their cancer journey through to the end. All of our volunteers are based in the hospital and all services are offered within this vicinity.”
Al’s Pals’ volunteers help cancer patients by…
- Sitting with them whilst they are receiving treatment, and having a chat
- Visiting them on the ward and helping them with anything whilst they are in hospital
- Signposting them to relevant services that could help them and their families
- Talking to them about everyday things and treating them as individuals – and not just focusing on their condition
- Discussing their case with medical professionals (with the patient’s consent) if they are too upset to do so
- Chatting on the phone in between hospital visits
Suzanne is now a member of the MKCPP, updating us on Al’s Pals’ progress at each of our meetings, so sharing experiences and best practice with most of the other small Milton Keynes cancer charities along with MKUH medical staff, admin staff, other related groups plus Macmillan and other national cancer charities.
If you would like to become an Al’s Pals volunteer, or would like to make use of the (free) service, please enquire online or contact them direct on firstname.lastname@example.org or 07745 601047.