The area’s primary cancer charity is launching an innovative community-based project to help reduce the impact of the disease on people’s lives – with a free roadshow event being held next week.
Lingen Davies Cancer Fund works to improve cancer services for patients throughout Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin, and Mid-Wales who are treated at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital. The charity has now invested in the LiveLife Cancer Awareness service – a health promotion resource that can be freely accessed to help people reduce the risk of developing cancer, and better understand the importance of getting an early diagnosis. It follows the impact Covid had on cancer diagnoses last year when nearly 800 fewer people were diagnosed locally than in the year previously.
LiveLife is being launched at a roadshow event in Shrewsbury’s Square on Friday, 9th July.
It is part of the charity’s drive and ambition to extend its reach into the community and help people through all stages of cancer – with a particular focus on prevention. The Kick Cancer programme was launched by the charity last year to help those who have gone through cancer treatment regain fitness and is run in conjunction with Shrewsbury Town in the Community.
The LiveLife Cancer Awareness Service will be delivered by health engagement officer Miranda Ashwell who has a background in public health. Her information and support will be available free of charge to all.
“We’re here to help people LiveLife,” Miranda said. “I will be able to provide free, evidence based, reliable and official information, and can help people access online tools and support.
“Everyone knows their own body best and can take action if something doesn’t feel quite right. It’s not safe to just think it will go away – if you’ve got a problem or a symptom, get it checked out.
“LiveLife can come to your community, your school, your workplace, or your event to get people talking and taking action to reduce the impact of cancer on their lives. It’s great to spread the word to as many people as possible,” she added.
Naomi Atkin, CEO for Lingen Davies, said the Cancer Awareness Service was due to be launched last year but had had to be postponed due to Covid.
“Historically Lingen Davies has existed solely to support cancer patients from across the region at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and our current appeal to fund a new CT Scanner continues that work. We are now also reaching out into the community to help people reduce their risk of getting cancer and access information to promote healthy living.
“It is important to mention that during Covid, cancer services continued here in Shropshire, though referrals from GPs dropped quite dramatically. In 2019/20 4,070 people locally received the news they had cancer, and in 2020/21 it had reduced to 3,264. It won’t be until a few years from now that we see the real impact of these figures.
“This evidence really does show that our work locally in raising awareness and ensuring the best treatment options are available is more vital than ever. We must ensure that we push on with raising funds and awareness as sadly cancer doesn’t wait,” she said. Further details on accessing LiveLife Cancer Awareness Service is available through the Lingen Davies website.