Independent Community Advocacy Network North (ICANN) have been involved in providing Advocacy services since 1995, and are extremely pleased to have been chosen to be a part of the Cancer, Older People and Advocacy project. The area we will be covering within Lancashire is for residents of Preston, Chorley, South Ribble and West Lancashire Districts.

It has been a very busy first few weeks! ICANN are lucky to have a pool of existing experienced volunteer advocates, of whom 7, have already expressed an interest in working on this exciting new project, and we will be providing project specific training to them in July, ready for our official launch on the 1st of August.

We have started awareness raising within health environments including our local cancer information centre, with 3 referrals so far, all around different issues, and can already see how valuable a service this will be particularly for those who are isolated, without much of a support network.

Display from recent awareness event (Health and Wellbeing event in West Lancashire at Edgehill University)

Display from recent awareness event (Health and Wellbeing event in West Lancashire at Edgehill University)

Recruitment for members of our Local Cancer Champions Board, has been so successful, that along with agreeing terms of reference, and electing a chair at our first board meeting, we decided that we would need to change venue for next LCCB meeting in September, as our board room is not big enough!  We also hope to move around the region for these meetings to encourage attendance from all areas, with groups as diverse as Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) representatives, other local charities working within health or with older people, along with older people who have been affected by cancer themselves.  A representative from this group, was also able to attend the National Cancer Champion’s Board Meeting in London recently at Macmillan Cancer Support HQ.

Staff are busy looking at more ways to promote the service locally, including a flagship event planned for October, to bring together a number of organisations in allied fields, speakers from health and advocacy will elaborate on the Cancer, Older People and Advocacy project, and how we can best work together for the good of our shared client group.  ICANN have close links with Lancashire LGBT and hope to continue joint awareness raising, sharing of resources, experiences and training where appropriate.

Janet Cullingford, Services Manager, ICANN

Source: OPAAL

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