A Mansfield cancer survivor is leading a Macmillan volunteer scheme that is being expanded across Nottinghamshire.
The initiative has already transformed life for more than 730 people living with cancer in the area. Now, led by Kerry Brealey (pictured), in partnership with Self Help UK, the Macmillan Beyond Diagnosis Project is providing practical and emotional support in the home to more local people living with cancer.
Thanks to additional funding from Macmillan, Kerry along with two new volunteer co-ordinators and around 200 trained volunteers, are able to provide support to every person living with cancer in Nottinghamshire who needs it.
Kerry, 40, was diagnosed with cervical cancer when she was 25 and told she could never have children — news she has since beaten by having a baby son.
The cancer was treated successfully, but she battled depression and anxiety for several years afterwards.
She said: “To be told I had cancer at 25 was devastating. Kerry, then a family support worker, didn’t receive any kind of psychological support after she was diagnosed with cancer. The experience drove her to apply for the job as a Macmillan professional.
“After going through cancer, I always felt I wanted to make a difference somewhere,” she said.
The Macmillan Beyond Diagnosis Service matches people living with cancer to trained volunteers with similar backgrounds and interests.
Kerry continued: “I feel passionate about people getting the right support at the right time."
Mandy Edwards, Macmillan quality lead for Nottinghamshire, said: “The Macmillan Beyond Diagnosis Project is about helping people to find their best way through from the moment of diagnosis so they can live life as fully as they can."
If you are interested in becoming a volunteer for Macmillan Beyond Diagnosis or would like to receive support, contact Kerry on 07958297919, email email@example.com