The Department of Health has announced the allocation of nearly £2m in support grants to a range of charities supporting those affected by cancer in Northern Ireland.
This is the third and final round of awards made by the Cancer Charities Support Fund, part of a package of funding made available in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to support carers, cancer charities and mental health organisations.
A total of £1.87m will be provided to nine organisations working across Northern Ireland to support people with cancer and their families, and to raise awareness of the disease.
Permanent Secretary Peter May said: “The Cancer Charities Support Fund aims to enable groups to provide a wide range of support services for cancer patients throughout Northern Ireland, covering key areas in the cancer pathway, from prediagnosis through to palliative and end of life care.
“The money provides vital support to organisations whose work makes such a difference to the lives of those living with cancer, as well as their families and communities. These services are key support mechanisms towards the implementation of the Cancer Recovery Plan and the Cancer Strategy for Northern Ireland 2022-2032, and important in working towards the Department’s aim of building cancer service capacity in communities.”
Mr May was speaking during a visit to Marie Curie in Belfast. The charity has been awarded £191,939 in the latest round of funding. The money will be used to support the Marie Curie Nurse Practitioner Service and the Psychological Support Service for people affected by cancer. Marie Curie is the largest charitable provider of end of life care in Northern Ireland, offering home-based nursing across all five Health and Social Care Trusts and hospice services in the Belfast and South Eastern Trust areas.
Paula Heneghan, Associate Director of Caring Services for Marie Curie Northern Ireland, welcomed the latest funding award. “Marie Curie is delighted to receive this money which will be used to improve our service for cancer patients on their palliative and end-of-life care journey.
“For the first time we will be able to recruit and develop the role of Advanced Nurse Practitioners (ANPs) in Palliative Care. This new role will bring enhanced nursing expertise to our team, allowing us to provide better care and support to patients in the community. The funding also will enable us to provide greater psychological support and promote the mental health and wellbeing of cancer patients by working in partnership with Trust psychology services.”
The £10m Cancer Charities Support Fund was launched last year and is managed by the Community Foundation NI.
Roisin Wood, Chief Executive Officer at Community Foundation NI, said: "We are delighted to work with the Department of Health to deliver essential funding to charities who provide front line care and support services to cancer patients and their families in Northern Ireland.
"Working closely with the Department and people with lived experience of the illness, both those with cancer and their families, it is clear that this group of people in our society are a priority for support. There have certainly been challenges over the COVID period, such as increased shielding and the effects of isolation, and we hope that this Fund has helped to mitigate the circumstances of those affected. Our priority through the Fund is to ensure services reach individuals and families who are most in need of support."
Notes to editors:
- Photo caption 1: From left, Dr Jennifer Doherty, Medical Director Marie Curie NI; Paula Heneghan, Associate Director of Caring Services, Marie Curie NI; Deirdre McStoker, Ward Sister, Marie Curie Hospice, and Peter May, Permanent Secretary, Department of Health.
Photo caption 2: From left, Dr Jennifer Doherty, Medical Director Marie Curie NI; Lois McCann, Grants Officer, Community Foundation NI; Paula Heneghan, Associate Director of Caring Services, Marie Curie NI; Peter May, Permanent Secretary, Department of Health, and Joan McEwan, Associate Director of Policy and Public Affairs, Marie Curie NI.
- The nine charities awarded funding in this round are:
- Cancer Focus NI - £418,624 towards the development of a Community Wellbeing Hub in Enniskillen.
- Cancer Research UK - £87,330. An early diagnosis awareness raising and marketing project in NI.
- Derry Well Women - £27,575. Developing and enhancing existing services for 300 women living with cancer and their carers.
- Foyle Hospice - £221,281. Community Team Specialty Doctor, Physiotherapist, Complementary Therapist and Nursing Assistant to enhance cancer patient care and carer support in the Derry City & Strabane District Council area.
- Macmillan Cancer Support - £305,004. Macmillan Welfare Benefits Advisor in each of the 5 Health and Social Care Trusts and a Macmillan Welfare Benefits Administrator to ensure integrated financial support in acute and community cancer settings across NI.
- Marie Curie - £191,939. Marie Curie Advanced Nurse Practitioner Service and Psychological Support Service for people affected by cancer across NI.
- Northern Ireland Hospice - £434,610. Delivery of palliative care for adult cancer patients, for 3 beds in the adult inpatient unit, along with support for their families.
- Teenage Cancer Trust - £92,241. Continued provision by Clinical Nurse Specialists of Outreach Nursing and Support services for teenagers with cancer and their families in hospital settings across NI.
- Pink Ladies Cancer Support Group - £91,771. The Pink Ladies Cancer, Covid and You Family Support Programme in Derry/Londonderry.
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