The charity which subsequently became Jersey Cancer Relief was initially founded in 1968 as a branch of the national campaign. At that time it was found that some cancer patients and their families were finding it difficult to cope financially because of their illness. The formation followed a fundraiser from the UK charity and John Richardson, later Connétable of Trinity who was the inaugural Chairman. In order to enable funds raised in Jersey to remain in the island and speed up the processing of requests for help, the independent local charity was formed with the agreement of the national coordinator of the time. The Jersey Charity was subsequently incorporated in an Acte of the Royal Court in November 1973.
The charity exists to provide financial support where there is a need to people diagnosed with cancer and is one of the few charities in Jersey able to assist local cancer patients and their families with financial assistance for doctor’s bills, dressings, heating, travel to UK hospitals and other incidental expenses that arise due to having cancer, such as rental of equipment for terminal care.
In most cases, the charity’s assistance is vital considering the majority of cancer patients have to forgo their income by giving up work whilst receiving treatment and during recovery.
All details are treated in complete confidence and patients’ identities are only known to those who visit the patient – even committee members are not aware of patients’ names.
The charity has also financed the purchase of certain hospital equipment which assists with the diagnosis of cancer. Over the years it has funded equipment for the mammography unit, dermatology and bowel screening departments. We in addition financed the cost of a ‘catch-up’ vaccination programme for HVP virus to cover those school age girls not covered by the States of Jersey programme and we have taken on the salary of a specialist nurse for lung cancer.
Anyone with cancer who is struggling to pay their bills can apply we look at each client on a case by case basis. Clients are usually referred by their doctor, the hospital and Hospice, but anyone can refer a client and we also have people contacting us direct. At present we have over 300 people on our books.
If you know of anyone who may benefit from assistance from Jersey Cancer Relief, please do not hesitate to call 618148.
Jersey Cancer Relief, 35 Burrard Street, St Helier, Jersey JE2 4WS.
Tel 01534 618148.