The Trustees at the Western Isles Cancer Care Initiative recently awarded the 400th application for funding from the WICCI Social Fund, a financial support package of up to £500 for individuals who are going through cancer treatment. Since the fund opened in 2018, over £220,000 has been distributed to those affected by cancer in the Western Isles, helping with costs such as mainland travel not covered by WIHB patient travel, heating costs, clothing, financial arrears and much more.
For one recipient, the money really helped at a stressful time “I am so worried about money, more than the cancer or the treatment. This assistance just takes some of that worry away so I can focus on what is ahead of me”
The Social Fund is a confidential and discreet source of assistance for anyone who is experiencing rising costs as a result of their diagnosis. Applications can be made directly to the WICCI office or through your GP, Macmillan Nurse or other healthcare professional. We work closely with the local Macmillan Benefits Adviser who can also help with excellent advice on benefit entitlement and Macmillan Patient Grants as well as other matters.
The WICCI Social Fund is 100% funded by Macmillan Cancer Support, directly through the donations made to the charity from the Western Isles.
As well as the WICCI Social Fund, the WICCI Centre in Stornoway offers advice and support and is slowly reopening the wide range of complementary therapies and counselling available to anyone affected by cancer.
One user who recently received a treatment at the centre explained the impact of the service “I had the most amazing session, I have always loved a massage but didn’t have one since my cancer and avoided them as I didn’t feel comfortable. Ann was amazing, gentle and kind and made me feel so comfortable. Thank you so much”
The therapies and counselling services are now reopened after a period of closure due to the pandemic, with some sessions available online. All therapies and treatments are operated in strict compliance with covid regulations and users can be assured of a safe and clean environment to enjoy some much needed tlc.
Treatments and services are all available free of charge to anyone affected by cancer – so this could be the individual themselves or members of their family who may be struggling too. The treatments are all funded by donations from the community of the Western Isles. Uist and Barra treatments and counselling services are available and due to be expanded in the coming months. The project is always looking for therapists or counsellors to work with them, so get in touch if you feel you could offer something to the project.
Another development within the WICCI project is ‘cancer care’ gift boxes, which are due to be launched in the next month. These are gift packages that friends and family could arrange to be sent to someone who is going through cancer treatment. The boxes are filled with practical and comforting items which could help soothe some common aliments of treatment as well as providing some nice reminders of home. As ever, the business community of the Western Isles have been tremendous in their support of the WICCI Project, with many providing items for the boxes at cost or significantly reduced prices, ensuring that as much can be crammed into the packages at a reasonable cost. Special thanks have to go to Ishga, Sandwick Bay Candles, K J Macdonald Ltd, Nicolsons Papershop, Stag Bakeries, Cards & Gift Wrap (Janet Ross Gordon) and others.
The boxes will be available to purchase online through the WICCI website (www.wicci.org.uk) and prices will range from £15- £90 plus postage.
For more information about the WICCI Project, just get in touch through our Facebook Page @wiccioffice or call 01851 706721 or pop by the office on Cromwell Street (beside Kopi Java).