Having cancer can have an impact on every aspect of your life and on those around you. We understand that this is a difficult and often frightening time for you and your loved ones, which is why we have put together a wide range of information to help you live with and beyond cancer.
Some of these services are available locally, whilst others cover Devon and/or the South West Peninsula as a whole.
Local support - Northern services
Encompass - helping you find your way
It can be hard to find the right support and advice, it’s even harder when you live in a rural location such as Devon.
Encompass Southwest is a local charity based across North Devon, Torridge and West Devon offering free and confidential advice on a variety of issues.
Encompass can provide telephone advice Monday to Friday 9.30 am – 3 pm on:
- Mental Health support (via their partners at Mind in Somerset)
Please dial 01271 371499 and press option 1.
Don’t forget you can also find useful information on the Encompass website in the online advice section.
Encompass is based in Barnstaple at 2 Bear Street, Barnstaple, Devon EX32 7BU but please note the office is not open to the public without a prior appointment.
Visit the Wisermoney website to find out where your nearest project is, the projects can help with the following subjects:
- Money, benefits and debt advice
- Mental health training and support
- Financial education
- Workshops, training and events
Lower water tariffs
South West Water offer lower water tariffs for those using more water because of a medical condition and debt relief advice, payment plans and occasionally grants.
Telephone: 0344 346 1010
‘Debt line’ Telephone: 0800 083 0283
Help with energy costs
361Energy provide free energy home check and help to switch provider, advice on grants, insulation options and benefits checking.
If you have a medical condition, and/or are living on a limited income you could be eligible for a Leap Funded free home energy efficiency check.
Website : www.361energy.org
Telephone : 01271 599361
North Devon Hospice
The North Devon Hospice supports patients with cancer and other long-term conditions. If you are affected by a life-limiting illness, there is a range of care and support available to you.
Visit their website for more information
Moving forward clinic and survivorship - Breast Cancer support
Breast cancer is the most common malignancy in women in the UK (1 in 8), the incidence of the disease has risen by 6% over the last 10 years, mortality rates have steadily fallen, and currently 80% of patients with early breast cancer have a projected survival of >10 years. The number of patients living beyond a breast cancer diagnosis has steadily grown; there were estimated to be 500 000 breast cancer ‘survivors’ in the UK in 2010 but this number is expected to reach 2 million by 2040. Once surgery and any chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy treatments are complete, the traditional model of breast cancer follow-up of multiple routine hospital visits has largely been superseded by an ‘open access’ structure, focusing on supporting self-management and patient empowerment. To make such a service successful, it is suggested that each patient should receive a Recovery Package, consisting of the following components:
- Cancer care review: review by a primary care practitioner within 6 months of a cancer diagnosis to ensure patients know what services are available to them, embedding the principles of self-management at an early stage.
- End of treatment summary: outlines treatments completed and priorities for future care, including any planned surveillance (for example, annual mammograms) and advice on symptoms and signs that could indicate recurrence;
- Health needs assessment: comprehensive questionnaire completed by the patient, including a concerns checklist, distress thermometer, and care plan;
- Health and wellbeing events: group events that provide an opportunity for patients to be educated on issues such as how to maintain a healthy lifestyle and management of long-term consequences of cancer treatment.
These measures should enable rapid and appropriate self-management or self-referral back to a hospital breast unit, but it is also important that GPs are aware of the common problems and concerns affecting this population.
Moving Forward Breast Morning every 6 months Wednesday morning
A local support group for anyone affected by diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. We meet together socially for mutual support, informal chat and a cup of tea, meetings with speakers and occasional social outings.
First Tuesday of every month (except January)
7pm at: Barnstaple Rugby Club, Pottington Road, Barnstaple, EX31 1JH
Bude and Stratton Breast Cancer Support Group
‘We meet and chat over lunch or afternoon tea. So why not come and join us’.
For further information about the group and its activities call 01288 355737 or 01271 353854
Local support - Eastern services
FORCE Cancer Charity
FORCE works locally to support anyone affected by cancer and will work closely with the people involved in your treatment. Find out more about the support FORCE can offer at forcecancercharity.co.uk.
Health and wellbeing clinics are also offered to patients with a diagnosis of cancer to help support them through their pathway. Your nursing team will be able to provide you with more information on the structure and content of these sessions.
Exeter Leukaemia Fund (ELF)
The ELF provides free counselling for patients with blood cancer and their relatives and carers. Find out more at elfcharity.org.uk. To book an appointment, please telephone 01392 402879.
Exeter Leukaemia Fund (ELF), funds one of our clinical nurse specialists and also funds a support worker, an aromatherapist and a part-time physio-technician.
Our support group meets monthly on the first Thursday of every month, 4.30pm-6pm.
We discuss various topics each month and are visited by other relevant professionals such as the physio and complementary therapist. We look forward to welcoming you.
Our support group for women who have received a diagnosis of gynaecological cancer meets monthly at the FORCE Cancer Centre.
Come and join us for a coffee and an opportunity to meet with other women in a similar situation to you. The group aims to be informal, welcoming and supportive.
Head and neck cancer
Our recovery group helps to support patients who have received treatment for head and neck cancer.
The group meets at the FORCE Cancer Centre on the first Thursday of every month, 10am-11.45. To find out more about the group, please contact us on 01392 402215.
Paediatric cancer support
We understand how difficult a cancer diagnosis is for you and your family. Our team will support you and guide you to the appropriate resources.
Heather Rake (ClicSargent social worker) will contact you to provide practical and emotional support.
Alongside our Clinical Psychologist, we are able to make referrals to FORCE, a cancer support and information centre in Exeter for patients and their loved ones who need physical, emotional, psychological and practical support. Contact: 01392 406151.
Support Groups and social activities for teenagers and young adults with cancer:
TYA peer support group takes place approximately every 6 weeks. This is an opportunity to meet other young people who have experienced cancer.
Parents' support group takes place approximately every 3 months. This is an opportunity to meet other parents of young people.
End of Treatment Clinic takes place approximately every 6 months. This is an opportunity for young people and those close to them to reflect on what they have been through, living with uncertainty and moving forward.
Young people have access to a wide variety of events and activities (including Find Your Sense of Tumour, sailing trips provided by the Ellen Macarthur Cancer Trust, the ultimate backstage experience at the Royal Albert Hall).
Macmillan cancer support
Macmillan has an excellent package of advice to help you and your loved ones manage the impact of cancer, whether this is accessing support for financial worries, finding online events or accessing programmes to help with your overall health and wellbeing.
If you want to be pointed in the right direction, or simply need someone to talk to, call the Macmillan Support Line today on 0800 808 00 00 or visit the Macmillan website.
- Cancer information and support
- Financial help and money worries
- Welfare rights
- Work advice
- Wellbeing coaching
- SafeFit exercise advice
- Will writing
- Telephone Macmillan Buddies
We are working in partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support to help improve the experience of people living with and beyond cancer.
Personalised Care and Support Planning (PCSP) helps people living with cancer to take an active and empowered role in the way their care is planned and delivered, with interventions and care tailored around the things that matter most to them.
Local Macmillan support
Alongside this support, Macmillan also has representatives for your local area. They can be contacted either directly or via your closest hospital.
Please contact the Fern Centre to make an appointment with our local Macmillan representative.
Your local Macmillan Financial Advisor for Torridge, North, Mid and West Devon can be contacted Monday, Tuesday and Thursday between 9.30 am and 5 pm via phone.
Telephone: 0845 894 9567
Charities and useful links
The following links will take you to further charities that can offer help and support.
British Association of Dermatitis
MySunrise patient information app
The MySunrise app supports cancer patients and their families.
The app also provides comprehensive information on symptom support and available services alongside a wealth of useful resources.
The app is now available to download from the iTunes and Google Play app stores.
Information for carers
You are a carer if you give any unpaid help and support to someone with cancer who could not manage without your help. This includes a partner, family member, friend or neighbour.
Being a carer for someone can mean:
- giving emotional support
- helping with everyday tasks
- driving them to appointments
- talking to other people on their behalf, such as health and social care professionals
- helping with personal care
When you’re looking after someone with cancer you might have extra needs such as financial or physical ones.
Perhaps you have had to give up work to care for someone or maybe you need a break from caring as things are getting too much. Whatever your situation, there is support available.
Contact the Living With and Beyond Cancer team
Seamoor Unit , North Devon District Hospital, Raleigh Park, Barnstaple Devon EX31 4JB
Tel: 01271 335934 or 01271 349117
Living With and Beyond Cancer Advanced Clinical Nurse Specialist
Tel: 01392 406577