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Exciting 21st year for PAC

L- R Melissa Hillier, Heather Mora, Hannah Culff, Ruth Knagg and Helen Sprawson-White

L- R Melissa Hillier, Heather Mora, Hannah Culff, Ruth Knagg and Helen Sprawson-White

LOCAL charity Positive Action on Cancer has hailed 2015 a huge success and is looking forward to exciting changes in 2016.

The charity has thanked the community for its continued support especially during a time where the demand for services has increased.

“2015 has been an exciting year for Positive Action on Cancer,” said Melissa Hillier,  who joined the team as director in June following the retirement of Mary Taylor who had successfully led the charity for seven years.

“We celebrated 21 years of service to the local community by PAC and have seen much growth in both the services and the support we gain from the local community.”

As a local cancer charity PAC has been creating new ways to reach people to offer them free professional counselling and in October launched its online counselling service.  This will enable PAC to reach people from a wider geographical area, as well as those who are less able to travel.

Melissa continued, “PAC has seen a huge increase in the demand for our service during 2015 with over 2,000 appointments offered and a 16% increase demand and as a result, we have added extra emergency sessions and recruited more counsellors over the summer to help manage the rise in referrals.

“In October we also received news that our Big Lottery application to extend its service had been awarded.  This will provide counselling to adults in Street and Glastonbury from March 2016, as well as extra sessions in Frome. The service will continue to expand in 2017 to Midsomer Norton and Radstock.

“Once again our huge thanks goes to our community who have held burlesque evenings, pulled coaches through town and had boxing matches to name just a few of the fantastic events that have been held to support PAC’s work in 2015.

“PAC would not exist without the support of the local community and their generosity and we would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has held an event, helped pack bags in supermarkets, shook buckets and dressed up as Santa Claus.  We couldn’t do it without you.

“PAC is always looking for fun, new, innovative ways to raise funds and this year is no exception.

“Launched in November, The Good Gallery on Stony Street is fast becoming a destination of choice for those searching for gifts and presents for family and friends.  With a wide range of local artists selling their work and with all the commission on sales coming to PAC, the Good Gallery is a winning combination of support for local businesses, artists and charities.

“If you haven’t yet popped by, do so quickly before things sell out.   The pop-up gallery will be open for six months and look out for workshops that will be held in the new year.  The merchandise in the shop will be changing over the six-month period, so do keep dropping by as there are always new items to purchase.

“2016 is looking to be no less exciting with some exciting changes as we prepare to take on a brand new look which we hope will help to raise awareness of the emotional impact of cancer, as well as helping them to engage with more people.”