Together with our partner Macmillan, we recently launched a project to support residents in Islington affected by cancer so they have the advice, guidance and referrals into local services that they need to live well. The impacts of cancer are multi-faceted, and impact so much more than just your health. People living with cancer often require specialised advice and support on mental health, employment rights, housing, childcare assistance, welfare benefits and more and that’s where our dedicated team of Connect advice workers comes in so they can connect residents with the appropriate services in the borough. 

In April, we have been working hard to ensure residents in Islington are aware of how we can support them and their families if they are affected by cancer. We've been engaging residents about the services offered by our broad network of partners, including Macmillan that can benefit people who have developed a long term health condition or received a cancer diagnosis. We've been working hard to ensure that services are being brought to the residents who need support. To do this, we have been running a series of health and well-being events from community spaces in Canonbury, Barnsbury and Caledonian. These events have focussed on linking residents up to services, increasing access to information and encouraging residents to take up health and well-being offers running in Islington so they can thrive and live well.

Our 3 Health and Well-being events were open to all residents and promoted an array of activities for everyone from young children right up to those in their elder years. We drew in large crowds by offering free taster sessions for different activities including zumba, first aid, cheer leading and chair-based exercise. We also offered free massage and beauty treatments. The events were fun and had something for all the family including refreshments, face painting and arts and crafts. Numerous partners, including community based organisations, statutory funded services and councillors attended the events to promote their support offers and services to residents. The events were a huge success, with each event drawing between 80 to 150 residents. 

At each event, we had a large Help on Your Doorstep stand, here we promoted our advice services and explained to residents about how we can support them navigating  the challenges commonly associated with receiving a long term health condition, including cancer. We sign-posted residents to essential information and linked residents into appropriate Macmillan resources. We had meaningful conversations and explored the support needs of residents. We took a list of names of residents, and since the event we have been following up with residents on a one-to-one basis to explore how we move forward to support them in overcoming the challenges they are experiencing. 

Community outreach and engagement is one of our strengths. We play an integral role in linking residents up to the appropriate services and information they need to overcome their challenges and to live well. We would like to thank our network of partners who supported these events and made them such a huge success and also to our amazing volunteers and residents who came out to support. Our thanks to Macmillan for making these events possible and for their support in providing invaluable resources around cancer.