With 33,000 people diagnosed with cancer in the North West each year, Manchester Libraries are launching a breakthrough scheme with Macmillan Cancer Support to make advice and support more accessible.
The Macmillan Partnership Information and Support Service in Manchester Libraries aims to offer help and support to those living with cancer, their families and friends. It will be a convenient way of accessing information, receiving emotional support and learning the facts about living with cancer.
Councillor Mike Amesbury, Executive Member for Culture and Leisure, responsible for libraries at Manchester City Council said: "The service is an additional way for patients to source information and is also a place where friends and relatives can come to find out more in an informal and relaxed atmosphere. People are frequently turning to libraries as a key source of information for their community and we see it as very much our responsibility to provide support and advice where it is needed. "
The scheme, which will launch on 14 July, will initially operate from three libraries; North City Library in Harpurhey, Gorton Library and Forum Library in Wythenshawe with plans to expand the service city-wide.
Information available at the library will include books, leaflets, fact sheets, recommended websites and face-to-face information. Personal appointments with a member of the Macmillan team will also be available so people can talk in complete confidence.
The service will provide details on the benefits and financial support available, local and national health related services and support networks, and alternative and complementary therapies and treatments, as well as offering emotional support to anyone affected either through their own diagnosis or that of a family member or friend.
Councillor Mike Amesbury added: "With one in three of us likely to be diagnosed with cancer at some stage it is essential that clear and accurate information is available within our communities. For people to have direct access to the Macmillan Partnership through our libraries is a positive step forward and will help to raise awareness of symptoms and encourage people to seek help sooner potentially saving even more lives."
Macmillan Information and Support Services Adviser Steve Edwards said: "Macmillan is delighted to be working in partnership with Manchester Libraries to bring cancer information and support to the heart of local communities. We are always looking at new ways of making information and support more accessible and this partnership is a great way of bringing a wealth of information and expertise to people affected by cancer. I look forward to seeing the success of this new service and I encourage anyone with any cancer concerns or worries to get in touch."
The Macmillan Information and Support Service in Manchester Libraries comes within the wider context of the Cancer Reform Strategy, demonstrating how, by 2012, our cancer services can and should become among the best in the world.
Manchester is committed to reducing cancer mortality and this network of information available locally is just one part of the overall plan to tackle this head on.
Claire Keegan, Press Office tel: 0161 234 4014