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Macmillan Support at Glasgow Libraries

Pip Lawrenson

26th July 2017

A guest blog from Pip Lawrenson (Macmillan Engagement Coordinator) for Macmillan @ Glasgow Libraries about the brilliant support service they run for cancer patients and their family and friends

Summer 2017 has brought Macmillan @ Glasgow Libraries, its volunteers and people who drop in for support and information, great opportunities with the Cancer Innovation Challenge. The Alliance, project delivery partner of the Cancer Innovation Challenge, want to ensure that the voice of people with lived experience is central to shaping future innovations. That’s why in June, Gregory Hill-O’Connor, Our Voice Coordinator at the Alliance, joined our Lead Volunteer Forum to let Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Lead Volunteers know about the exciting roles available to help make a difference to the lives of cancer patients in Scotland.

Macmillan @ Glasgow Libraries goes back to 2009, when a base for individuals affected by cancer to drop by for cancer support and information (including plenty of tea) was piloted in Easterhouse Library. The local community had the opportunity to speak confidentially to someone who is not a doctor, family member or friend about any concerns or worries in a relaxed and non-clinical environment.

The success of the pilot lead to the development of Macmillan @ Glasgow Libraries and the wide-ranging service we provide. Today there are 35 Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Services across Glasgow, with everyone in the city 1 mile or less away from cancer support and information. 16 of our services host a team of highly-skilled Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Volunteers dedicating their time, experience and knowledge to support anyone affected by cancer. In 2017 volunteers reached an incredible milestone, donating 30,000 hours of their time to people affected by cancer in Glasgow on 10,000 occasions. Services have been boosted further by our partnerships with further Macmillan services, such as pioneering Improving the Cancer Journey, and Cancer Support Scotland who have provided over 2,500 counselling and complementary therapy sessions at our Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Services.

Approximately half of all people visiting our services come along to have someone to talk to. Around a quarter of people are looking for information on what services are available to them and almost one fifth are looking for help with benefits or financial worries. Not everyone who comes to see us is living with or beyond cancer – almost 30% of attendances are from a family member of a person with a diagnosis and 5% identify as carers. Supporting the delivery of more effective and efficient cancer care in Scotland would mean making a difference to the lives of people affected by cancer, ensuring people get the right support at the right time.

Not only do volunteers now have the opportunity to get involved with Cancer Innovation Challenge - helping Scotland to become a world leader for people with cancer, but through our services and information points we can promote the opportunities to people affected by cancer in the city. This way we can ensure that the voice of people with lived experience is central to shaping future innovations in Scotland.

For more information on Macmillan @ Glasgow Libraries visit, call us on 0141 287 2980 or email macmillan [at]

Find out about support groups, where to get information and how to get involved with Macmillan where you live at



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