The Pink Ladies Cancer Support Group was established in May 2005 and is a community based approach to supporting those living with or after Cancer who have been affected either directly or indirectly. It was decided that whilst the clinical side of a diagnosis and the follow on treatments go well from a statutory and medical point of view, for those cancer sufferers, their families and carers dealing with the trauma of a diagnosis and the life changing impact on their emotional and physical well-being there was a gap in local advice and information/support services. It is a known fact that grass root services are more likely to be accessed by local residents from the communities they sit in. Although the organisation started initially as a Breast Cancer only support group within the Bogside and Brandywell area of City, we now deliver services to both male and female beneficiaries coping with all types of Cancers across all areas of the Derry Strabane District Council Ward with an ever increasing demand for the programmes we offer. We also have a male cancer support group known as The Pink Panthers who celebrated their 6th Birthday this year, proving we have been successful in engaging with men in a support environment where other such designed groups have failed.
In October 2015 the organisation finally achieved their goal of renting spacious and easy accessible City Central premises, allowing us to meet and engage with a larger representation of all sections of our communities as laid out in our Constitution and Equal Opportunities Policy. Where the building is situated has a bus route alongside making travel much cheaper and easier, with disabled and other parking outside. These can be issues any organisation will face when their aim is to reach the most vulnerable and marginalised, who otherwise would not benefit from a lot of services. Already we have seen an increase in our numbers visiting the building and referrals coming through.