Charity Crossroads Care Kent has been awarded £75,000 by NHS Kent and Medway Cancer Alliance to support the earlier diagnosis of cancer.
With the funding, Crossroads Care Kent will be training its 200 staff and 150 volunteers to all become Cancer Awareness Champion’, who are actively informed of the signs and symptoms of cancer.
They will be encouraging carers, the people they care for, and their family and friends, to attend those all-important screenings and GP appointments.
Marnie Enever, County Lead for Cancer Support at Crossroads Care Kent, said: “This is about raising awareness of the signs and symptoms of cancer, encouraging, and supporting people to speak to their GP should they notice any changes or have any concerns at all.
“We will be providing replacement care for unpaid carers so they can attend GP or screening appointments, diagnostic testing, and treatment.
“We are also letting people know that they can get advice, guidance and support from our fantastic team here at Crossroads Care Kent.”
Early awareness and diagnosis are proven to result in dramatically improved outcomes for those living with cancer.
With Crossroads Care Kent’s staff and volunteers working across the whole of the county, they can reach thousands of people who may otherwise not have access to this crucial support and advice.
Irene Jeffrey, Crossroads Care Kent Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are delighted and proud to be working with NHS Kent and Medway Cancer Alliance on this invaluable initiative that will undoubtedly save lives across Kent and Medway.
“We know, from 40 years of supporting carers across Kent, that carers put the needs of the person they care for before their own health, which means carers frequently miss cancer screening appointments or delay visiting their GP until their situation has reached a crisis point.
“So much of this is avoidable if people know the signs, know who to speak to, and know they can get replacement care for their loved one, whilst they attend their cancer screening appointments.”
Dr Tina George, Early Diagnosis Lead for NHS Kent and Medway Cancer Alliance, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Crossroads Care for this crucial work. Put simply, finding cancer early helps to save lives.
“Knowing the signs and symptoms of cancer and feeling confident about getting them checked out is essential for early diagnosis.”
Alongside the rollout of over 350 Cancer Awareness Champions, Crossroads Care Kent will be running a promotional campaign over the coming year, raising awareness of the importance of early cancer screening, and how people can get checked.
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