Cancer, Older People and Hidden Groups

We had a very successful day on the 29th September in Stafford at the conference about older people, cancer and hidden groups – identifying the barriers.


Hidden or hard to reach groups are many and very varied. We decided this year to concentrate on people with a learning disability, LGBT, prisoners and the homeless though as we all know people don’t fit neatly into one box. We had some excellent speakers but, as always, the most powerful parts of the presentations were hearing from people belonging to the hidden group. So a big “thank you” to Carl, Ruth Tara and Darren. The patient voice and personal experience of health and care services is so moving and inspiring and  as advocates we strive to get it heard. Next year we hope to put on  another Conference looking at BME, asylum seekers, travelers and maybe mental health – all in the context of cancer and older people.

Jane Rudge, Head of Macmillan Services for the Midlands opened the Conference and summed up at the close. Thank you Jane for joining us. We also managed to combine the Conference with our Macmillan Coffee Morning and raised £68.40 + gift aid.

The feedback from the Conference and all the participants has been very positive with many thinking about how to make changes to their services to make them accessible to everyone. We will be analysing the feedback and producing a report highlighting the themes.

Thank you to all the organisers, presenters and participants in working hard to make a great day.

Kath Curley

Project Manager







The Advocacy Project is pleased to welcome Ruth Copley-Jones to the Project as Volunteer Co-ordinator.


Following university Ruth started her career working in recruitment, recruiting Doctors into locum positions across the north of the United Kingdom. She then gained a position in Human Resources at Leeds City Council and worked for the organisation for 14 years in a variety of roles within HR, recruitment, and organisational development.

During this time she gained her CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel Development) qualification and is a chartered member of the organisation. She has experience of recruitment, training, policy development, and sickness management.

In her last 4 years with Leeds City Council she worked in a team that managed the sickness absence of employees, dealing with cases of both long and short term absence, supporting and working with to help them employees to return to work.

Ruth returned to Staffordshire following the birth of her daughter and started working for the Beth Johnson Foundation in September 2016.


We all hope she enjoys her time with all the Staff at BJF.


Kath Curley

Project Manager


The Project has just reached its 500 referrals mark! The Team have worked hard to reach this milestone and to manage the expectations and needs of the clients, who very often have several issues to be worked through.

Congratulations and a big Thank You to all the Co-ordinators and the Caseload Support officer. Don’t stop – keep going there are more older people affected by cancer who need the support of an advocate.

Kath Curley

Project Manager

Come and join our team here at Staffordshire & Wolverhampton Cancer Advocacy!

We have a vacancy for a Volunteer co-ordinator for our project.

Working in partnership with and funded by Macmillan Cancer Support, an exciting opportunity has arisen for a self-motivated individual to play a key role in this project.
You will support the Project Lead and provide line management and supervision to volunteer advocates to achieve the outcomes of the Staffordshire and Wolverhampton Cancer Advocacy and Support Project and provide support for all volunteers across the BJF Macmillan projects.

Due to the innovative nature of the project we are looking for someone who is enthusiastic about this project development and is experienced in advocacy and volunteer management and support.
Secondments will be considered.
For more information please follow this link:

What a coincidence!

At last week’s COPA Programme Project Management Group Meeting Kathleen Gillett, from Dorset Macmillan Advocacy,  gave a presentation on Macmillan’s Recovery Package.

Macmillan - The Recovery Package

The Recovery Package is a series of key interventions which, when delivered together, can greatly improve outcomes for people living with and beyond cancer.

The Recovery Package is made up of the following elements:

  • A Holistic Needs Assessment (HNA) and care planning.
  • A Treatment Summary completed at the end of each acute treatment phase
  • A Cancer Care Review completed by the GP or practice nurse to discuss the person’s needs.
  • An education and support event such as Health and Well-being Clinics.

Today, Collette Cooper and I met with Sarah Gorton, Macmillan Cancer Survivorship Project Manager, based at Royal Stoke Hospital, who has taken up a 2 year Macmillan funded project. Sarah is working with the CNSs, across Royal Stoke and County Hospitals, for 4 cancer sites:

  1. Head and Neck
  2. Brain
  3. Primary Bone
  4. Gynaecological

to implement an electronic Holistic Needs Assessment (eHNA) within these clinics as an integral part of the Recovery Package.

We discussed with Sarah where advocacy fits within the Package and that Advocates compliment and support the work the CNSs are doing. We hope this will lead to greater partnership and collaborative working with the health professionals.

Good luck Sarah!


Kath Curley

Staffs and Wolves Cancer Advocacy and Support Project Manager.

New Macmillan Project for Staffordshire

I am pleased to be able to write about a new Macmillan funded project that is taking place in Staffordshire.


The Project is led by a familiar face to the Staffs and Wolves Cancer Advocacy and Support Project – Jo Coulson – and Angie Bunn has taken up the role of Engagement Officer.

Cancer support services are perceived to be patchy or even inaccessible when the person affected by cancer is also Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Transgender (LGBT). There is a lack of solid evidence in relation to this area of need and an absence of information regarding effective approaches to service provision. With a view to improving this situation this project seeks to redress this by speaking directly to people from these groups and undertaking an in-depth assessment of current service “fit”. Recommendations will be made for service redesign based on the experiences recorded across Staffordshire, including Stoke on Trent. It is expected that the recommendations made will influence services nationally and may form the basis of a much broader review of services.

Scoping aims are to find out:

  • What are LGBT people’s experiences of cancer treatment and support locally?
  • What factors facilitate/inhibit open discussions between clinicians and LGBT patients?
  • How well educated are local health professionals about LGBT issues (both clinical and personal – do doctors make assumptions)?
  • What are awareness levels within LGBT communities about specific cancer risks, screening programmes, etc?
  • Is there a need for specialised LGBT code of practice, cancer information and literature, etc?
  • Can true ‘patient centred care’ disregard sexuality or gender variance?


It will use the following strategies:

  • Face-to-face meetings & capturing stories
  • Surveys and questionnaires
  • Focus groups, workshops, roadshows
  • Internet and social media
  • Workplace engagement with clinical staff
  • Information gathering and capturing experiences, identifying trends and gaps
  • User involvement in project development


We wish Jo and Angie all the best with this Project and look forward to the outcomes. I will try to keep you all up-to-date as the Project progresses.

Kath Curley

Project Manager













So long…’not only a pleasure but also a privelege’

Following on from our previous post on the loss of legends, Sunday brought more sad news of the death of yet another legend…. Sir Terry Wogan.

Sir Terry was well known for many, many reasons and sadly cancer brought the untimely end to his life and his career.

For me, Sir Terry was the face of the BBC’s Children in Need charity, but for others he was so much more, from the host of Eurovision, to the voice to listen to in the mornings on his ‘Wake up to Wogan’ Breakfast Show.

I’m sure many of you will join us in saying Rest In Peace Sir Terry Wogan.


Pudsey black bandana