MP meets cancer support charity in Hurstpierpoint
Arundel & South Downs MP Nick Herbert met with a cancer support charity in Hurstpierpoint on Friday (6 February) in the week that Cancer Research UK announced that one in two people would be diagnosed with the disease at some point in their lives.
The new figure was announced on World Cancer Day (February 4) to highlight the need to bolster public health and cancer services so that they can cope with a growing and ageing population and the expected demands for better diagnostics, treatments, and earlier diagnosis.
Mr Herbert visited Cancervive to draw attention to World Cancer Day and also to support the local charity which needs volunteers to help their fundraising and plans for expansion.
Cancer Research UK says that support for public awareness campaigns, increasing screening uptake and ensuring equal access to innovative evidence-based treatments are key to saving more lives.
Cancer survival rates have doubled in the last 40 years, with half of adult cancer patients now expected to survive 10 or more years after diagnosis.
Cancervive is a charity based in Hurstpierpoint, set up to provide help to anyone whose family or friends are cancer patients, and to those who have lost someone to cancer. They provide a support network based upon personal experience to help those affected by the disease through counselling. They have set up support groups, a telephone helpline, and an online forum to extend the one-to-one counselling they provide.
Mr Herbert met Cancervive’s founder Paul Huggett to learn more about the work he does and to hear how the charity wants to expand its services through fundraising and voluntary help.
Paul has tragically lost two wives to breast cancer and found that sharing his personal experiences with other people in similar situations provided a great support to them. Paul became a certified Cruse counsellor but found that their guidelines would not allow him to share personal experiences in counselling sessions.
In 2007 he set up the cleverly named Cancervive charity to fill the gap of providing personal experience counselling, and has since gained the backing from a local Macmillan centre. Paul has established a small group of other counsellors who provide their time in a voluntary capacity.
Paul hopes to grow the charity to help more people but needs the support of a team to help with administration, accounts and fundraising. Fundraising events are planned throughout the year, including a Golf day at Cuckfield Golf Centre in May.
Nick Herbert said: "It was very interesting to learn more about Cancervive and to hear about their plans to grow the charity. I was impressed with Paul's dedication and his vision to provide the help which so many people need when their lives are touched by cancer.
"The Government has increased funding to help fight cancer through research and treatment and boosting the Cancer Drugs Fund as part of its £750 million cancer strategy. However, this new statistic that one in two people are expected to be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lifetime is terribly sobering.
"I hope that Cancervive will receive the support it needs to help more people in the local community, and I know that they would welcome volunteers to assist them."
1. Photograph 1 – Left to right – Paul Huggett, founder of Cancervive with Nick Herbert MP.
2. To read about Cancervive see www.cancervive.org.uk.
3. For more information about Cancer Research UK and cancer statistics for the UK see http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/cancer-info/cancerstats/