Older People Living with Cancer

Peer advocates supporting older people affected by cancer

OPAAL wins Sanofi UK Patient Group Bursary Gold Award

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We are delighted to announce that Sanofi UK has awarded OPAAL the Gold Award in its 2014 Patient Group Bursary Scheme. The scheme supports initiatives across the UK that make a tangible difference to patient empowerment and education. By awarding a share of £50,000 to patient groups, the scheme aims to support organisations where promoting the needs and interests of patients is at the heart of their work.

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The GOLD AWARD  of £25,000 will allow us to set up a Cancer Patient Train the Trainer Programme

We plan to offer a standalone Cancer Patient “Train the Trainer” programme. In essence we plan to recruit and train older people affected by cancer to become Trainers able to train both Healthcare professionals and social care professionals. The nature of the training to be delivered will be to raise awareness among these professionals of independent advocacy, what it is, what it is not, how it complements other forms of care and most importantly how it supports older people affected by cancer to better cope with their lives.

The Sanofi UK funding will enable us to raise the status of the patient voice to have a real impact on health and social care practice. There will be two referral pathways for prospective cancer patient volunteer trainers, from Macmillan’s Cancer Voices national volunteer database and from local volunteer referral pathways set up and managed by local Cancer, Older People and Advocacy delivery partners. OPAAL and her local partners Dorset Advocacy and Help and Care in Dorset, Beth Johnson Foundation in Staffordshire and Sefton Pensioners Advocacy Centre will recruit, train and supervise volunteer cancer patient trainers. Macmillan Cancer Support will adopt an information and advisory role for this project.

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We’re very excited about this work which will complement the Cancer Older People and Advocacy project.

Baroness Neuberger DBE and Patient Group Bursary Scheme judge said:.”This year’s winners all demonstrated tremendous passion and commitment to the people they set out to support. The projects selected for bursary awards are all very different. However, whether it be improving advocacy for older cancer patients, establishing the first peer support network in the UK for people with TB or providing mentoring to develop local support groups for families affected by fundamental diseases, the judges strongly believe that all three projects have the potential to have a significant impact on the lives of patients and those who care for them. We wish the groups all the very best of luck with their projects.”

OPAAL’s Chief Executive Kath Parson said: “We are all absolutely delighted to be this years winners of the Sanofi UK Gold Award. This money will enable us to train older people affected by cancer to themselves become Trainers able to deliver advocacy training to local health and social care commissioners. We aim to improve commissioners knowledge and understanding of independent advocacy services by learning directly from service users.”

Dr Mark Toms, Medical Director of Sanofi UK and Ireland commented:“Advocacy groups play an important role in championing the needs of patients and Sanofi UK is committed to supporting groups who strive to improve care and empower patients through the Sanofi Patient Group Bursary Scheme. Now in its fourth consecutive year we still continue to be impressed by the passion and unrelenting tenacity of patient groups in delivering exceptional programmes that make a lasting difference to the lives of patients across the UK.”

Look out for further information as the project gets under way in the Autumn.

Marie McWilliams, OPAAL

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Author: Marie McWilliams

OPAAL's National Development Officer

One thought on “OPAAL wins Sanofi UK Patient Group Bursary Gold Award

  1. Pingback: OPAAL welcomes new Development Officer, Kim | Older People Living with Cancer

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