Affiliation Project Supported by Pfizer Healthcare Ireland
APRIL 2012: The Irish Cancer Society has recognised 42 cancer support groups as official affiliates of the Society. They form a national network that provides community-based information and support services to people with cancer and their loved ones. Pfizer Healthcare Ireland and the Pfizer Foundation, has supported the Irish Cancer Society’s Affiliation project which sees the Society become an umbrella body to which all cancer support groups, support centres and peer support programmes across Ireland can become affiliated.
In 2008, The Pfizer Foundation awarded the Society a 3 year grant under its Global Health Partnerships scheme, the funding was matched equally by Pfizer Healthcare Ireland.
Evidence suggests that when people with cancer receive good support within their own network and community, their quality of life improves. Support centres throughout the country have been providing this service and are mostly run by volunteers. As part of the National Strategy for Cancer Control, the Irish Cancer Society was asked to expand its role to become an umbrella body for these support centres.
The Society carried out a scoping study, supported by Pfizer, to determine the number of groups around the country, what activities they were engaged in and what their expectations of such a project might be. A directory of all the cancer support services in Ireland was published and a set of good practice guidelines were developed.
Olwyn Ryan, Support Groups Manager, Irish Cancer Society said "Whilst cancer rates are increasing in Ireland, more people are surviving cancer due to earlier detection and advances in care and treatment. It is vital that we have a good support network in place to ensure people with cancer get the help and support they need. This organised support comes in the main from voluntary groups and services at a local level and national bodies like the Irish Cancer Society who play a lead role in the provision of support and care to people with cancer. We are fully committed to supporting the ongoing development of all support groups across the country, large and small."
"Pfizer is delighted to have supported the ICS on this valuable initiative to strengthen patient support centres throughout the country. Evidence suggests that when people with cancer receive good support within their own network and community, their quality of life improves which is very important," said Michael Riordan, Head of Oncology, Pfizer Healthcare Ireland. "Oncology research is a key focus for Pfizer with 20% of our R&D budget being invested in this area. Working together with academic institutions and researchers, we are at the forefront of a transformation in how cancer is treated. Over the last few decades, our understanding of cancer has changed - personalised and precision medicines are now key in achieving better outcomes for patients."
Published: 1st April 2012.