A Durham charity that supports people with cancer is going the extra mile.
Great Aycliffe Cancer Support Group have adapted their minibus to transport cancer patients safely to and from hospital.
Because of the strain on NHS ambulance services, patients have been asked to source their own travel.
Durham Cancer charity lifeline
Many of the people they support live alone. But thanks to the charity’s staff and volunteers, they have one less thing to worry about.
Allison White from the Durham cancer charity said: “We have to make sure we only take one patient at a time.
“They sit right at the back of the bus and we provide PPE for our drivers.
“We currently have four drivers, but more on standby if we need them.
“We have had six new clients over the last couple of days and now we are working weekends to get everyone to appointments.”
Great Aycliffe Cancer Support Group were awarded £4,855 from our COVID-19 Fund. So far, more than £900,000 has been given to grassroots groups.
Usually, the group helps support cancer patients with transport to hospital, finance and advice, respite breaks and outings.
Many activities are halted, but the team still want to ease pressure on the NHS.
“We are also helping with other support such as food hampers as these are some of the most vulnerable people. All are shielding and unable to go out. So we are making sure they have the essentials such as bread and milk.
‘Our biggest fears for the organisation is the money. We rely heavily on fundraising. Without the support from the grants we wouldn’t be here. “
County Durham Community Foundation
We have been able to help thanks to our supporters, and the National Emergencies Trust appeal. As a result, since lockdown began we have made almost 200 grants. Many groups are offering life life-changing services to some of the most vulnerable. Volunteers and staff are banding together to meet real need.