Macmillan Joining the Dots
Around 3,000 people in County Durham are diagnosed with cancer every year and an estimated 15,000 people in Durham are currently living with the disease – a figure which is expected to rise to 28,000 by 2030.
Officially launched at the beginning of the year by the council and Macmillan Cancer Support, Joining the Dots aims to bring services together in order to ensure everyone in County Durham who is affected by cancer can access the help and support they need around nonmedical needs.
The initiative, the country’s first joint project between Macmillan and a local authority, was set up following extensive research by the council’s public health team, which included surveys, one-to-one interviews, using the Macmillan Outreach Bus and stakeholder events where local support groups were in attendance.
This engagement demonstrated a need for advice and guidance on a wide range of issues such as finances, employment and housing as well as practical support ranging from help with cooking and cleaning to coping with loneliness.
The team also undertook a mapping exercise to assess the support available around County Durham. This revealed a large number of services offering assistance, although not all were cancer specific. However, many people were not aware of the help available, were unsure how to access them or didn’t think they would be eligible for support.
The Macmillan Joining the Dots Service has been operational since September 2018 and was officially launched on 24th January 2019. It is provided by the Wellbeing For Life Service. There are six facilitators who cover the whole of County Durham who are already making an impact on the lives of almost 100 people who are currently involved with the service.
To access the service visit: https://www.joiningthedots.info/about-us/