Equal access to cancer support for Deaf people in Rotherham

BEING diagnosed with cancer can be a frightening experience, but for many deaf people, living with cancer can have additional challenges.

The pandemic highlighted a number of barriers to accessing cancer information and support for the deaf community. This included lack of interpreters at some medical appointments and a shortage of cancer information in British Sign Language (BSL).

There are 11 million people in the UK who are deaf or hard of hearing and 1 in 2 people will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. So it is simply unacceptable that deaf people do not have equal access to vital support.

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That’s why Macmillan Cancer Support and Self Help UK have joined forces to improve support for deaf people living with cancer in Rotherham and South Yorkshire.

The Macmillan Deaf Cancer Support Project will offer virtual one-on-one emotional and practical support in British Sign Language (BSL) through trained deaf volunteers by videocall, email and WhatsApp. The two-year pilot will also support carers, including deaf people who are supporting a hearing person with cancer.

This virtual project will help to empower deaf people by enabling them to share their experiences and support each other by creating and supporting, new and existing deaf peer support groups.

No one should have to fight to access cancer information and support and we will do whatever it takes to be there for everyone living with cancer.

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Such services like the new deaf Support Project are only possible thanks to the continued fundraising efforts of our wonderful supporters in Rotherham, so please do get in touch if you would like to fundraise and help people living with cancer.

To find out more about the new project and access cancer support in BSL visit www.selfhelp.org.uk/deafcancersupport

Also, please remember that if you or a friend or family member are struggling with cancer, Macmillan are there for you. If you need information, support or a chat with Macmillan you can call us free on 0808 808 0000 (seven days a week, 8am-8pm).