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Issue 287 – Positive Action on Cancer is “vital”, says Frome client

A Frome woman whose father died of cancer is championing a new appeal launched by local charity Positive Action on Cancer, describing the service as “vital” to many people in the area.

Last month, the charity launched ‘The Listening Ear Appeal’ to raise £200,000 so its counsellors can continue to provide vital emotional support to families affected by cancer and other life threatening illnesses.
The charity – which is the only place in and around Frome where people affected by cancer can get professional counselling free of charge – is struggling to survive since major sources of funding have ended. And it is calling on local people and groups to support the campaign.
Local woman Carol Sinnott, pictured, is one of many people who have benefited from the counselling service. Three years ago, her father, Kim Gould, died at the age of 88 after a short battle with cancer. She said, “It was a short battle with cancer so it was all quite sudden. In the weeks after my father’s death I was distraught. I had no forum to let it out and I would go along to my regular keep fit class and just break down. One of the ladies at the class happened to be a counsellor at PAC and that’s how I learned about the charity.
“I went along to their offices once a week for about seven or eight weeks for about an hour each time and we talked about my father and his place in the family and how I was feeling. The counselling was pretty crucial to me getting through the grieving process. The counsellors were very sympathetic, understanding, and actually amazing people themselves in their optimism.
“When you’re in a desperate, grieving place, to have these people there for you is so important. The offices themselves are warm and inviting and there is nothing else that compares to the service that the PAC team are offering. I can’t say enough about them.”
Positive Action on Cancer was formed 15 years ago by Jill Miller after she was diagnosed with breast cancer and was struck by the lack of emotional support available.
“Anyone affected by cancer knows the impact an illness like cancer can have on your life”, explains the charity’s director Mary Taylor who has spent six years counselling for the charity. “It can knock people to their knees, especially children who’ve lost a parent or people who’ve struggled through the experience of caring for a loved one. People do their level best to get through but when just six free sessions of counselling can make such a difference to their quality of life and their ability to cope, we think it’s vital that this support continues to be available to everyone who needs it.”
Positive Action on Cancer is urging all local businesses, community groups, schools, churches and individuals to help by raising as much money as they can. To find out more and to get a free fundraising pack full of great ideas they can visit the website or call Rosie Eliot on 01373 455255.