Cancer Connections to operate behind closed doors as charity looks to protect vulnerable clients and staff from coronavirus

A much-loved South Tyneside charity has made the decision to close its doors to the public from Monday, March 16 as it looks to protect its clients and staff during the coronavirus outbreak.

Cancer Connections, based on Harton Lane, South Shields, provides advice and therapy services to cancer patients and their families.

Staff will continue to work from the Cancer Connections base and will be able to help clients access its services over the phone, during its normal hours of 9am to 5pm.

Deborah Roberts manager and co founder at Cancer Connections.

Anyone seeking advice or those wanting to access its services is asked to contact the charity on its usual number: 0191 456 5081.

Manager Deborah Roberts said: "We are closed to the public from today but are still operating.

“No one is allowed on the premises so that we can operate safely.

Cancer Connections base on Harton Lane, South Shields.

”The welfare and benefits service will continue to run, but it will be done so remotely, over the phone.

“Paperwork can be dropped off at the charity but people are not allowed in the building.

“Assessments and advice will be given over the phone but complimentary therapies have been stopped completely at this point.

“We are not picking up or accepting donations for the Chic Boutique for the foreseeable future.”

Cancer Connections co-founder Debroah Roberts with patrons Jade Thirlwall and Josef Craig.

The charity is also asking anyone who wants to make a donation to do so on JustGiving, Virgin Money Giving or over the phone.

Deborah continued: “We are hope that people understand the reason why we are doing this. It is to protect staff and service users.”

Symptoms include fever and a cough that may progress to pneumonia causing breathing difficulties.

Anyone with the above symptoms is urged to use the 111 online coronavirus service to find out what to do next, but should not visit a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.