With 40,000 people living with cancer at any one stage in Northern Ireland there is often many unanswered questions and emotions that people can end up dealing with on their own.
The Listening Ear Service (LES) is designed to offer support and signposting in an informal setting on a face-to-face basis, as and when it's needed.
The service is available to anyone diagnosed with cancer and their family, close friends or carers.
Dealing with cancer is difficult on its own but it also impacts on many other areas of your life and it can be difficult to know what help is available and where. LES offers signposting to other local services to help with issues such as childcare, financial assistance and transport issues among many others.
When dealing with cancer people can try to bottle their emotions and 'be strong' which can increase stress and anxiety.
Often people need to talk about their worries and emotions, but they don't feel counselling is appropriate.
The Listening Ear Service offers a safe place where people can talk about their situation with someone who isn't emotionally involved.
Often this is a one-off appointment to help people move forward and enhance their quality of life.
Who provides the service?
The Listening Ear Service is a confidential service run by highly trained volunteers who have undergone a strict recruitment procedure and an accredited training programme.
We work with schools, colleges, workplaces, community groups and healthcare settings to provide our award winning training to those who wish to support people affected by cancer in their area. Our training is accredited at Level 2 by the Open College Network, which is comparable to NVQ level 2, GCSE’s A* to C and Higher Diploma levels.
On completion of this training, participants will be able to understand the stages of a cancer journey and the emotional and practical support needs of all those involved. By understanding this, they will be able to support that person appropriately and effectively.
In addition to this training, we are now offering groups the chance to complete our Train The Trainer Qualification for Listening Ear, which will mean they can deliver Action Cancer's Listening Ear Training and in doing so reach more people who can then support others. This is accredited at level 3 with the OCN and is comparable to NVQ Level 3, A and AS Levels, Advanced Diploma.
For more information on offering either of these training programmes to your group/team, please contact Elizabeth Boyd on 028 9080 3355 or firstname.lastname@example.org