Macmillan Reaches Thousands
Written by Gavin on 29th March 2018
Macmillan’s mobile cancer information and support service in Wales has reached 37,252 people across Wales, which is enough to fill half the Principality Stadium.
The service operates as a bus unit, called Bronwen, that travels around the country, visiting towns and cities along with her team of cancer information and support specialists.
85% of people who accessed the service last year, were from deprived or highly deprived communities, and 53%¹ lived in rural areas.
The brand-new bus, dedicated to Wales, is smaller so that she can access more remote and rural communities, and provide support in areas where people may not have access to other cancer services.
Bronwen was launched in September and is equipped with a quiet room, electronic display screens, and iPads for visitors to use to find the information they need.
Before Bronwen was launched, Macmillan’s UK buses Bertie and Betty, provided the service in Wales.
Julie Davies, who lives in Beddau, came across Bronwen in Llantrisant in February and spoke to Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Specialist, Sally Rabjohns.
“One of the best things was speaking to Sally.
“I sort of poured my heart out to her and she was really good with advice.
“It was like sitting talking to a friend, even though I had only just met her.
“I was telling her about my hair, because that was quite a daunting experience as well, but it is actually growing back now.
“We kind of had a laugh and a joke as well, as I think that’s half the battle, when you can laugh and make light of things.
“She was absolutely amazing, she really was.”
Moray Hayman, Team Lead for the Bronwen Macmillan Information and Support Service said:
“We’ve had a fantastic year of mobile service delivery in 2017.
“From visiting towns with Bertie and Betty at the start of 2017, to proudly parking up in our very own Welsh Bronwen bus from September, we’re delighted to have reached so many people in different areas of the country.
“We are there to answer any questions that people have about cancer and to reach people who might not be able to readily access other cancer services.
“Bronwen has enabled us to support more people in rural and deprived areas, and by having a bus dedicated to Wales, we’ve been able to deliver the service over a much longer schedule.
“As a team, we’d like to encourage anyone affected by cancer who needs someone to talk to, to look out for when we’re in their area in 2018 and to come down to see us.”
Richard Pugh, Macmillan Head of Services in Wales, said:
“We’re really pleased with the success of the service in Wales in 2017 and that we’re reaching more people than ever before.
“Bronwen was designed so that she could provide an enhanced cancer support service to remote and deprived areas across Wales, and the figures show that this is exactly what she has been doing.
“We’re looking forward to Bronwen’s first full year of service delivery and helping more people affected by cancer in Wales in 2018.”
If you’ve been affected by cancer and would like to ask the team any questions, or stop by for a chat, please visit www.macmillan.org.uk/mobileinfo to find out when Bronwen is in a town near you.