Gavin Williamson, MP for South Staffordshire, met with a representative from the Beth Johnson Foundation this week, a charity that is dedicated to making a future for all ages.
The Foundation, based in North Staffordshire, works with a network of volunteers, researchers and intergenerational practitioners nationwide who promote the rights of older people across the UK. The Beth Johnson Foundation provides advocacy and support to older people who need to make important and challenging decisions about their lives, through the Staffordshire and Wolverhampton Cancer Advocacy and Support Project.
BJF, in partnership with and funded by Macmillan Cancer Support, provides an advocacy and support project for older people affected by cancer either as a patient or carer. They provide support through five volunteer co-ordinators who are recruited to engage and act as advocates for patients. Peer volunteers are supported by regular supervision meetings and through regular training opportunities.
In South Staffordshire, Jane Green has recently been appointed as area co-ordinator/ advocate for the locality. The advocates work with older people affected by cancer with a wide variety of issues which range from getting information about a Blue Badge, bus pass or other transport option so they can get to appointments, to re-housing and referral for a benefits check. They help with problems relating to loneliness, discuss treatment options and signpost to other community groups and services.
Commenting on his meeting Gavin said: “I’d like to thank Jane for meeting with me and telling me of the brilliant work that the BJF does and the service that it provides to patients, their carers and their families in South Staffordshire.
“The BJF provides invaluable support to those who may be isolated and find it difficult to get around or use the internet or may have difficulties understanding or communicating with others. Living in a rural area, this is extremely important for communities in South Staffordshire and I would like to thank Jane and her team for the wonderful work that they do.”
Anyone living in Staffordshire or Wolverhampton can access the service by calling 01782 844036