Cancer Support Bradford and Airedale seeks your help in 25th year

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Charity trustee Jane Hughes Charity trustee Jane Hughes

A charity celebrating 25 years of supporting cancer patients is asking organisations, companies and groups to support it during its silver jubilee year.

Cancer Support Bradford & Airedale (CSBA) offers face to face help and support and information to anyone in the Bradford district with a cancer diagnosis, or their loved ones.

A spokesman for the charity said: “Like many local charities we have been affected by recent changes in funding. However, financial pressures on families affected by cancer mean our work is needed more than ever before.

“2013 is our 25th year. This is an exceptional milestone in the charity's history and one which we want to celebrate, and hope that you will join us.

“By choosing to support us in some way in 2013 you could help us to be here providing support to local cancer sufferers and their families for the next 25 years.”

Hayley Collis, corporate fundraiser at CSBA, wants more companies to support the group by nominating it as their charity of the year in 2013.

She said: “Local businesses can really benefit from supporting the charity by taking advantage of our corporate involvement. I find that staff who have personally experienced the help and support the charity provides are more willing to get involved in fundraising activities. We’re experiencing incredibly trying economic times and survival in business is a priority.

“Ideas such as dress down days or participation in the events the charity organises saves valuable time and makes things easier. Some of our events are natural team building opportunities and some are individual challenges.”

For more information, contact Hayley Collis on (01274) 776688 or e-mail Hayley.collis@bradfordcancersupport.org.uk

One of the charity’s trustees, Jane Hughes, of Bradford, knows how much of a difference the charity can make.

“In January 2009 my known world fell apart when I was diagnosed with a rare cancer,” she said. “I had a busy life as a working mum of two teenagers with a passion for fitness and the outdoors.

“Major surgery and several weeks of treatment followed. Money was a huge stress, with my oldest about to apply for university, but returning to work quickly was out of the question. I was used to being in control of my life and felt at rock bottom.

“My nurse suggested I contact cancer support. A member of the welfare rights team responded quickly with a home visit, providing much- needed peace of mind with advice on a range of benefits and ideas on how we could restructure our finances until I returned to work. With this support I was able to focus on getting on with radiotherapy and the long period of recovery needed.

“I was lucky and my employer could not have been more supportive. When the demands of further treatment meant I could no longer carry on working, leaflets and advice from cancer support helped me to take stock and make the necessary adjustments, both to our home and our finances. Eighteen months on, my health is stable and I’m enjoying life again. I’m retraining and setting up my own ‘micro business’, a move that has bought me great personal satisfaction and enables me to work flexibly when my health allows.

“Key to this success has been the thoughtful way in which Cancer Support Bradford and Airedale works. It’s not about ‘doing it for you’ (the patient), but doing it ‘alongside you’, helping you to take back control of your life at a time when it’s so easy to lose it.

“In these uncertain times, none of us really know what the future holds. Yes, cancer may take away your dreams, but with the right support we can all find new ones.”

Any community group which wants to support the charity should contact Linda Enderby, community fundraiser on (01274) 776688, or l.enderby@bradfordcancersupport.org.uk

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