Helping hands urgently needed to give cancer patients a boost

Cancer patient Denise Patrick, left, enjoys a nail treatment from Cancer Focus NI volunteer beautician Natalie Thompson while she waits for a hospital appointment. Nails can be badly affected by chemotherapy. The charity is appealing for more NVQ level 2 volunteers to help at its nail bar at Belfast City Hospital.

Are you a qualified beauty therapist? Would you like to volunteer to help cancer patients in the Newtownabbey area?

Cancer charity, Cancer Focus Northern Ireland is urgently on the look-out for NVQ Level Two beauty therapists in the Newtownabbey area to join its nail bar team at Belfast City Hospital.

Cancer Focus Northern Ireland provides complimentary nail treatments and hand massages to patients in hospital while they wait for their cancer treatment - but the charity needs more helping hands because the service is so popular.

Wendy Brown, Assistant Volunteer Co-ordinator, Cancer Focus NI, said: “Volunteers will be providing much needed relaxation and pampering to people at a very stressful time, as well as giving advice on caring for their nails and skin which can be adversely affected by chemotherapy.

“The volunteer post gives newly qualified therapists a chance to develop skills and build up experience which will be useful when they apply for jobs in the future.

“They will also have the chance to meet other like-minded people but, most of all, they will take away a huge amount of personal satisfaction when they see what a difference they can make to cancer patients.”

“We could not do our valuable work without the help of volunteers so please do come and join in. We really need you.”

Denise Patrick, from Belfast, who is undergoing treatment for both breast cancer and multiple myeloma, said: “The nail bar, provided free by Cancer Focus Northern Ireland, provides a brief moment for all patients and their carers to de-stress, an opportunity to forget the anxiety of the waiting room.

“You are pampered and made to feel special. For 20 minutes, while you are waiting for your treatment or to see a doctor, your volunteer nail technician can be your confidante or help calm you down. Or you can simply savour the peace and quiet of the moment.”

Volunteer Natalie Thompson, who has worked in various local salons and on cruise liners, said: “It’s such a rewarding experience being able to help those who need it most.

“It’s a gentle reminder that time is precious and the touch of my hands will warm somebody’s heart.”

Full training and support will be provided by Cancer Focus NI and volunteers are generally asked to give a few hours of their time one or two weekdays a month, with flexible hours.

If you have a few hours to spare and would like to help, please email volunteer@cancerfocusni.org or call 028 9066 3281 and speak to Wendy.

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