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Friends put up £16,000 to help out PAC

Following a disturbing report that Frome-based charity Positive Action on Cancer (PAC) may have to curtail some of its vital counselling services to patients and their families, because of the current economic situation, the Friends of Frome Hospital (FoFH) have agreed to underwrite the cost of one of the four dedicated counsellors at PAC for the next three years, specifically for patients in the Frome area. Peter Smith, chairman of FoFH said, “The Friends greatly respect the superb work carried out by PAC and have been sympathetic to its funding problems for some time. Now with the news of imminent cuts to local cancer counselling services we felt it was time for some positive action on our part. “Our empathy is with the people of Frome and this funding will specifically provide a counsellor for cancer patients and their families in the Frome area. This is part of the Friends of Frome Hospital continuing policy to support medical services in the local community.” Dr Helen Kingston, chair of PAC trustees and who is a local GP, is quoted in the press as saying that PAC is currently helping the highest number of patients ever against a backdrop of declining funding and charitable donations. This grant of £16,000 a year for the next three years will fund nine counselling sessions each week for Frome patients. Mary Taylor, director at PAC said, “We were delighted to hear the news that FoFH are providing a grant for the cost of one of our counsellors based in Frome. This grant will have a significant impact on our work and will support nine people each week who see a counsellor at our Frome venue. “We currently see 30 people weekly in Frome and will continue to fundraise and look for support to cover the extra cost of those sessions not funded by the FoFH. We feel that we are not yet out of the woods financially but this very generous grant from FoFH has eased the situation for us. We would still like to encourage anyone else who is able to support us to do so as the demand for our services continues to grow.” Above: PAC receives a donation of £16,000 from Friends of Frome Hospital; l-r, PAC fundraiser Kelly Hall with Peter Smith from the Friends & PAC director Mary Taylor