Thanks to a new partnership, Lethbridge Family Services and Wellspring Alberta can help build a stronger and more accessible cancer support community for southern Albertans.
With this new local collaboration, Wellspring’s monthly in-person Cancer Connect program will be offered at the LFS location. Utilizing trained in-house staff, the program provides a safe space for people living with cancer and their caregivers to connect, communicate and receive strategies for supporting their emotional and mental health. All programs and services are informed by evidence and offered free.
World Cancer Day, held this past weekend, shares the goal of Wellspring Alberta’s outreach mission, with this year’s theme of “Close the Care Gap.” The program provides a safe space for people living with cancer and their caregivers. To connect, communicate and receive strategies for dealing with their journey.
Rebecca Perkins, Wellspring outreach manager says, it is imperative to ensure no one has to face cancer alone. “Our Lethbridge ‘Go-Getters,’ what we nicknamed them because that’s what they are, are out and about spreading the word about Wellspring and LFS and ensuring people are connected to us.”
It’s very difficult navigating a cancer journey, Perkins adds. “Our Community Connector volunteers help with that navigation. They help to ensure people are connected with the services that are going to best meet their needs – whether that be local or through an online program at Wellspring or joining our Cancer Connect program.”
One of the things most often heard from someone experiencing a cancer diagnosis, says Perkins, is they want to connect with someone who truly gets it. “And that just isn’t for the patient or the person diagnosed, it is equally so for our caregivers.”
“Our Community Connectors are out there. They are the voice of their community and they’re the listening ears, ensuring people diagnosed with cancer in the Lethbridge community and region are heard. They are then able to connect them into our relevant programs and services,” notes Perkins.
With in-person programming, Perkins says, there is something that is so meaningful and so needed.
“To give someone a hug, to be able to see them face-to-face, share a cup of tea and really feel heard.”
With the prevalence of cancer out there now, LFS Executive Officer Sandra Mintz says, this program serves a critical community need, “and probably more and more an increasing need, unfortunately.”
“I feel extremely motivated to look for ways how LFS can be a support to people facing cancer and the best way we can do it right now is by partnering with Wellspring,” Mintz adds.