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PAC launches new appeal to cope with unprecedented demand

Positive Action on Cancer have seen an unprecedented increase in the number of referrals received in the first quarter of this year.  

Since January PAC has seen an increase of over 50% in referrals compared to the same period in 2014.

PAC, who provide emotional support to any one affected by cancer or another life threatening illness make a commitment to try and see people within two weeks of the day they make contact with the charity.

However PAC are struggling to keep up with this current demand and those in need are facing what could be an unbearable wait.

Melissa Hillier, director of PAC says, “Having our biggest waiting list ever is very difficult for us as an organisation as our clients regularly report back to us that PAC was their lifeline in what can be the most difficult time in a person’s life. One of things client’s value highly is our ability to meet their needs quickly and professionally.

“People can often be in an incredibly dark place emotionally when they contact us and we want to ensure we can meet the growing demand for our vital service.”

In order to be able to cope with the backlog in referrals and to ensure those in need aren’t left waiting for the support they require PAC has decided to scale up its service on a temporary basis.

Hannah Culff, fundraising and communications manager says, “It is vital that we scale up our service to cope with this demand. However, this has huge cost implications as we aim to deliver an extra 112 counselling sessions over a four month period which are currently unfunded.

“We are appealing to local businesses and the local community to donate whatever they can to make this possible.”

PAC must raise an extra £3,600 by the end of July to cover the cost of this increased service. To donate to PAC’s appeal go to www.justgiving. com/ PACappeal/ Or TEXT ‘PACX50 £5’ to 70070

For more information email or call PAC on 01373 455255.

• The new appeal comes at a critical time for PAC as it enters into an exciting new phase in the organisation’s development. 

After 12 years working at the charity, including the last seven years as director, Mary Taylor hands over this week to a new Director, Melissa Hillier.

Mary said, “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at PAC, it has been wonderful to see the charity grow slowly but steadily over the years.  I am delighted to hand over to Melissa and I am sure PAC will continue to flourishing under her care.”

Mary has overseen substantial service development during her time at the helm, including widening the remit of the service to offer counselling to people affected by other life-threatening illnesses as well as cancer. The children’s service, including counselling for young people at Frome College, was developed in 2008 and, most recently, new satellite services have been added for patients at the hospitals in Weston super Mare and Yeovil.

Melissa Hillier has been Assistant Director at Genetic Alliance UK, which is an alliance of over 180 patient organisations, so she brings considerable experience and expertise to take PAC forwards.

Melissa commented, “I am really looking forward to helping PAC develop and grow, we are already finding ways to pilot the use of new technology to provide counselling via Skype and we continue to have a growing demand to expand our children’s services.   The community of Frome have supported PAC to be where it is today but with an ever growing profile comes an ever bigger demand for our counselling services. PAC’s waiting list is at a record high and we need continued help with volunteering and raising much needed funds”

If you are interested in getting involved please contact PAC on 01373 455255 or email