NHS reaches out to communities to raise cancer awareness
Monday 03 February 2020
Ahead of World Cancer Day (4 February 2020), Northumberland’s NHS community cancer awareness coordinator visited one of the county’s major employers to share knowledge and advice with staff.
Suzanne Doney from NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) visited international paint manufacturer, AkzoNobel in Ashington, to discuss cancer awareness and prevention.
She talked to staff about lifestyle behaviours and how individuals can reduce their risk of cancer as well as raising awareness of symptoms and cancer screening tests.
Suzanne said: “It’s so important we raise awareness about cancer as much as possible especially around symptoms, risks and our free NHS cancer screening programmes. There are so many diverse community groups in Northumberland due to its rural landscape and we need to find more innovative ways of reaching them.”
Thanks to funding from the Northern Cancer Alliance, the CCG has been able to create this dedicated community cancer awareness coordinator role to engage with hard to reach communities in Northumberland.
Suzanne has already delivered messages around smoking, alcohol, sun safety, obesity and exercise in venues including bingo halls, community cafes, village halls, community centres, factories and toddler groups – to name a few.
Suzanne added: “I’ve given presentations such as the Cancer Research UK Talk Cancer and had informal chats in places such as community cafes and walking clubs. I’ve also taken part in Pride to help tackle health inequalities amongst the LGBT community.
“My role is so varied and you never know what’s going to be waiting for you behind that door. I will never turn down an opportunity to help get our messages out.”
AkzoNobel is dedicated to improving health and wellbeing in its organisation and has been successful in achieving the continuing excellence award from the Better Health at Work scheme
Nick Turnbull, health, safety and environment manager, at AkzoNobel said: “We’re delighted Suzanne could come and talk to the team. She has been excellent in giving advice and guidance to our staff.
“We recognise how important it is that we are all aware of the symptoms of cancer and the cancer screening programmes. The health of our staff is one of our top priorities and we can’t thank Suzanne enough for taking the time to come and visit us to provide this vital information.”
Dr Robin Hudson, medical director and cancer care lead at the CCG, added: “Raising cancer awareness in our communities is a key priority for the CCG and Suzanne has done some sterling work raising cancer awareness in hard to reach areas. Her role really allows us to connect with the people of Northumberland on a more personal level in ways which are more adapted to their lifestyles.”
If you would like to arrange a visit in your workplace, please get in touch with NHS Northumberland CCG on 01670 335 157 or alternatively email at firstname.lastname@example.org.