From Wymondham to Singapore – lockdown helps charity go global
- Credit: Daniel Moxon
The enforced shift from in-person sessions to online support has seen a small cancer support charity help people around the world.
Star Throwers, which describes itself as a holistic cancer support charity, was traditionally able to help people who could travel to its support centre in Wymondham.
But the ability to provide virtual support sessions has now seen it take on clients as far afield as Los Angeles and Singapore.
"Normally we would say it's best if people could come to our centre, but with everything being done online in the last year that was no longer necessary," said operations manager Victoria Pigg.
Star Throwers provides dozens of support sessions every month, including providing counselling, information about nutrition and fatigue management as well as activities like yoga, reiki and a writing therapy group.
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Since reopening its services after the first lockdown last August, it has delivered 379 cancer support sessions.
And now restrictions are being lifted, it has been able to welcome back service users for its first face-to-face appointments at the Melton Road centre in more than a year.
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Group sessions and coffee mornings are still off the table for now, but that's just as well as the centre's biggest room is currently being used as a storage space for the plethora of donations it has received for its Middleton Street charity shop.
Services manager Heather McKenna said: "People have been saving it all up all through lockdown and now they've brought it all to us.
"And more and more is being delivered all the time."
Miss Pigg added: "Before, the shop would take £150 or maybe £200 in a day – lately it's been £500 if not more.
"People are being so generous with their support."
And that support is vital so Star Throwers can continue the work it does to help support people after a devastating diagnosis.
One service user named Barbara said: "In the early days of my diagnosis I came across Star Throwers in my research in nutrition.
"Speaking to both Heather and Tina was incredibly reassuring and I felt very supported and comforted.
"I'm blessed to have come across Star Throwers during this unexpected chapter of a health crisis."