Would you like to help host a cancer support group for your peers? Federation members are being asked if they would like to help organise regular meetings for those who have been affected by the disease.
PC Emma Arthurs-Newman has created a support network for her colleagues within the Suffolk Force after she was diagnosed with cancer in 2017.
The Suffolk Police Federation workplace representative has been living cancer free for more than five years and has since been working hard to support colleagues who have or are being impacted by the disease.
“Normally people are supported for five years following treatment but due to the Covid-19 pandemic, my support stopped early at around two-and-a-half years. All of a sudden, I felt really vulnerable, especially when my medication stopped,” explained Emma, who has been hosting monthly virtual meetings for her colleagues who are living with or caring for somebody with cancer.
She added: “I remember when I was going through cancer treatment, nobody ever asked my wife if she was OK. And, although she wasn’t the patient, her plate was pretty full too.”
Emma (second from left) with Norfolk PC Hayley O’Donnell who helped organise the Cancer Peer Support Day
Late last year, Emma hosted her first ever Cancer Peer Support Day for those from Suffolk and Norfolk forces and is now looking to help others across the country launch similar events and networks.
“I want people - however they have been affected by cancer - to know it’s OK to feel how they’re feeling. Hopefully, the support network gives people permission to feel guilty, sad or even happy - all of the emotions that people feel if they are experiencing cancer,” continued Emma, who is on a mission to help those diagnosed or recovering from cancer, as well as those who are carers or bereaved, feel less isolated.
“And this support doesn’t cost a thing - conversation costs nothing.”
If you would like to find out more about how you can launch a cancer peer support network, contact Emma by emailing Emma.email@example.com