Cancer patients attending the North West Cancer Centre at Altnagelvin Hospital in Derry/Londonderry for treatment are now able to avail of free tea and coffee thanks to the support of Friends of the Cancer Centre.
Friends of the Cancer Centre’s tea and coffee dock is providing patients and their loved ones attending the hospital’s Sperrin Suite with complimentary refreshments. Each week, up to 600 patients and their loved ones from across the North West attend the Sperrin Suite for cancer treatment. Many patients have travelled long distances to attend the North West Cancer Centre for what can be a long day as they receive treatment and attend other appointments. In addition to providing over £11,000 in financial support to patients in the North West in the last year – helping patients with travel expenses, fuel costs and other household bills – it is hoped that the free refreshments will go some way in helping alleviate some of the financial pressures that can often come with a cancer diagnosis.
Commenting on how important a cup of tea can be to patients, Colleen Shaw, Chief Executive of Friends of the Cancer Centre, said:
“As a charity, our work is extensive and includes supporting vital research and funding 49 additional staff across cancer services in Northern Ireland, including new radiotherapy and nursing posts in the North West Cancer Centre. We also believe small things can make a big difference to patients, which is why a really important part of our work focuses on small and thoughtful touches which can make a patient’s time at hospital a little easier and more comfortable.
“Central to this part of our work is providing free tea and coffee for patients and we are really delighted to have a tea and coffee dock at the North West Cancer Centre. A cup of tea can be very welcome for patients and their loved ones attending the hospital for treatment. It can be a warm welcome for those travelling a long distance and a comforting distraction at what can be a worrying time. This is the third tea and coffee dock opened by the charity, with two others in the Northern Ireland Cancer Centre in Belfast which provide over 50,000 cups of tea every year.”
Friends of the Cancer Centre is dedicated to making a real and meaningful difference to cancer patients and their families across Northern Ireland. The charity is here to enhance the quality of patient care and support through its life-changing and life-saving work which includes funding additional nurses, supporting local research and providing practical support, such as financial grants, which help families through a difficult time. Friends of the Cancer Centre relies on the generosity of the local community and all money donated stays in Northern Ireland, directly benefitting patients and their families.
Lesley Mitchell, Western Trust Interim Assistant Director (Nursing), Cancer and Diagnostics at the North West Cancer Centre, Altnagelvin Hospital said:
“We are delighted to have the support of Friends of the Cancer Centre and we can already see the positive impact the tea and coffee dock is having on our patients and the time they spend at the hospital.
“As a team, we understand that coming to the hospital is a very worrying and anxious time and we endeavour to find ways to make patients and their loved ones as comfortable as we can. Being able to offer a cup of tea is a small but really important part of our wider patient care and we would like to thank Friends of the Cancer Centre for funding the project.”