Older People Living with Cancer

Peer advocates supporting older people affected by cancer

We celebrated the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning in Sandwell

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The World’s Biggest Coffee Morning is Macmillan Cancer Support’s annual flagship fundraiser and celebrated its 25th birthday on Friday 25th September. Here, Juanita Williams tells us about getting involved this year:

On the morning of Friday 25th September  we at Sandwell Cancer, Older People and Advocacy project (SCOPA) hosted The World’s Biggest Coffee Morning at Sandwell Irish Community Centre in Langley Lodge, Langley.

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The Worshipful the Mayor Cllr. Barbara Price arrived promptly at 10.00am together with the Deputy Mayor Cllr. Julie Webb. In my role as SCOPA volunteer coordinator, I welcomed them to the event and introduced them to Project Manager, Dave Bradshaw and Chairperson, Lesley Donnelly.

They spent time talking to the SCOPA staff about the project before settling down for a cup of tea and piece of homemade cake.

The event was supported by SCOPA staff, SCOPA Local Cancer Champions and SCOPA volunteers who were all on hand baking cakes, selling refreshments and generally making everyone welcome.  We had lots of information available to share with members of the public about the work we are doing at SCOPA and twelve months into the project we have experience of what exactly the needs are of the people who use our service and how volunteering can make a huge difference to their lives.  Two volunteers Sherry and Andy were all on hand to talk about their own experiences.

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Paddy Elmore Advocate, Deputy Mayor, Cllr Mrs Julie Webb, The worshipful the Mayor of Sandwell, Cllr Mrs Barbara Price, Juanita Williams Vol co-ord, Dave Bradshaw Project Manager, Lesley Donnelly – Chair of Sandwell Advocacy

I have been hosting The World’s Biggest Coffee Morning for nine years now and I was keen for everyone to be recognised for their time and effort. This included a group of dedicated volunteers and my own mum, Cath Mansell, who has been baking, making and selling cakes and craft items to raise money since 2005 when Macmillan Nurses supported the family during my dad’s cancer journey.

SCOPA-logoSandwell Irish Community Association have been supporting Sandwell Advocacy and Macmillan Cancer Support for many years and this annual event is very well attended by the local residents of the village and farther afield.  It’s a lovely relaxed way to spend time with people, chatting over a cup of tea about our work, often they share their own stories with us.

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SCOPA Project Manager, Dave Bradshaw was keen to host this event again, twelve months after the SCOPA launch. He commented “This is the second event in a row that we have supported and I am delighted to have done so again.  It is interesting to note how far the SCOPA project has come since last year’s event and extremely encouraging to witness the levels of support provided to older people affected by cancer by both project staff and volunteer advocates.  It is events such as this that underline the importance of integrated support services for people affected by cancer and their families, as well as the important role people can have as volunteers in supporting others through their cancer journeys.”

Juanita Williams, Sandwell Advocacy

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Author: Marie McWilliams

OPAAL's National Development Officer

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