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New support scheme launched to help cancer-hit families in South Tyneside

Pauline Wonders, centre, of Family Gateway, with Claire Knight, left, and Tina Thompson from Macmillan.
Pauline Wonders, centre, of Family Gateway, with Claire Knight, left, and Tina Thompson from Macmillan.

A UK-first project has been launched in South Tyneside to support vulnerable families living with cancer.

The Families and Cancer project aims to help people already coping with significant complex issues and circumstances - including poverty or domestic violence – situations that can be exacerbated by a bombshell cancer diagnosis.

The project is run by North East charity Family Gateway, which has a base in Hebburn, in partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support.

Pauline Wonders, director of Newcastle-based Family Gateway, said the project was born from the need for a bespoke support for families suffering a cancer diagnosis.

She said: “We have seen how a cancer diagnosis can be the factor which really tips the balance and sends the family into a downward spiral.

“We wanted to create something very bespoke for families who find themselves in these circumstances, and we are absolutely thrilled that Macmillan have become our partners.

“We have seen instances where a mum with cancer can be on her own with several kids, and taking her medication or going to her hospital appointments just isn’t a priority amidst to the daily struggle of just functioning as a family.

“We help to create a supportive system, where we can put the scaffolding in place in the home so they don’t go into total meltdown.

Tina Thompson, Macmillan Partnership Manager in the North East, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Family Gateway to provide this service.”

Family Gateway can be contacted on 0191 643 8938.