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19 June 2017

Celebrating 21 years of cancer information and support

Staff, patients, volunteers and visitors of the Bristol Haematology and Oncology Centre (BHOC) are invited to celebrate the 21st anniversary of the Cancer Information and Support Centre (CISC).

On Wednesday 21 June, the Cancer Information and Support Centre, located in the main entrance of the BHOC, will be celebrating 21 years of service to patients, visitors and staff. Supported by a network of charities, volunteers and Trust staff; the centre has played a vital role in ensuring cancer patients, their families and staff who work in the hospital are given necessary information and support. To mark the occasion, volunteers and charities will be hosting sessions as examples of the work they do, as well as a cake cutting by Dr James Brennan who initially set up the centre. 


Rosie McMillan, Cancer Information and Support Centre officer, said: "We would first like to thank all our volunteers and charitable partners that have ensured we can provide information and support to patients, visitors and staff for the past 21 years.

"Cancer information and support goes beyond us handing out leaflets and signposting people to charities and organisations who can help. Our team run a host of activities to help anyone who requires our services; including listening ear sessions, chemotherapy talks, radiotherapy show rounds and wig referrals.

"We are delighted to welcome Dr James Brennan back to the BHOC, having set up the centre. We look forward to celebrating our success with all those who have used the service, as well as those who will benefit from our presence in the future."


Volunteers are relied upon to help run the centre, Monday to Friday, 9am - 5pm. Without their input the centre would not be manned sufficiently to provide the service and support they do. Pat Murphy has volunteered for 15 years at the centre, she said: "We are here for anyone affected by cancer. We have contact from over 9000 people a year, so there is a need for centres like ours.

 "You see people from all walks of life, for which we can give the time to sit and listen. Our involvement can be as simple as a chat about the weather or a smile to passers-by.  

"I feel privileged to work in such a well-thought of hospital, working with a super team of volunteers. Although I am retired, I am lucky enough to still feel part of a workforce and attended training courses to help to improve my skills. This role has helped me to appreciate the many facets that a cancer diagnosis can bring and has hopefully helped me to become a better listener."

 Also attending the event will be Heidi Loughlin, currently receiving cancer treatment at the BHOC. Heidi is well-known for her witty and honest blog, Storm in a tit cup, about her experience living with inflammatory breast cancer. Heidi is just one of many to have benefited from services available at the Cancer Information and Support Centre, she said: "The hospital provided me a wig and surgical pillow, as well as signing me up to the Look Good Feel Better workshop. The team have also helped with leaflets, for which I am grateful."