Why did Ovacome set up an ovarian cancer support hub in the West Midlands?

As a member-led charity, we had to act when members told us (during our consultation in early 2018) that they needed more regional, accessible support.

We spent the summer researching local support services and population information in the West Midlands, and in November 2018 we applied for National Lottery funding through the People’s Projects programme.

Success relied upon a public vote held in April 2019, which we were delighted to win!

We received funding in May, started recruiting and setting up the office base over the summer, and our West Midlands Hub Co-ordinator, Laura Nott, joined the team in September 2019.

Since then she has been mapping local hospitals, cancer support centres and support groups across the region, looking at how we can collaborate with existing services or partner with others to create new support services where needed.

Our overall goal is to improve the experience of anyone affected by ovarian cancer in the West Midlands. Our three main aims are to:

  • reduce the isolation of those affected by ovarian cancer.
  • increase collaboration between local support services.
  • raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer.

In July 2020, we won a government grant, distributed by the National Lottery Community Fund, to extend the reach of the hub and work towards a multilingual symptoms awareness campaign in November 2020. The grant enabled us to recruit Imogen Stone as our West Midlands regional hub officer, who joined the team in August 2020.

Though currently working at home due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the hub has an office in The White House Cancer Support Centre, 10 Ednam Road, Dudley, DY1 1JX.

Though the office base is in Dudley, we are here for the whole region. We have started with the seven local authority areas within the West Midlands county (Wolverhampton, Walsall, Dudley, Sandwell, Birmingham, Solihull and Coventry) but we will also be offering support services to the five surrounding counties across the wider West Midlands region: Staffordshire, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Shropshire.

.

Community outreach

Our West Midlands hub has been working to establish links with community groups and raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer in the region.

 ..

Ovarian cancer support groups

We now have two local support groups up and running in the West Midlands and surrounding areas! Although these are currently being held online, we will eventually meet once a month a location that is convenient for all.

Come and meet others from your area, share experiences and advice, ask our team your questions, and make new friends.

Coventry support group

Staffordshire support group

If you'd like us to help you set up a support group in you area, get in touch with Laura at [email protected] .

 .

Raising awareness

Join us this month to raise awareness of ovarian cancer across the West Midlands and beyond. Help us to reach less well represented community groups with our brand new written and video awareness resources, produced in Arabic, Bengali, Gujarati, Polish, Punjabi and Urdu.

Find out more about our Reach Ova campaign.

.

Get in touch

Anyone affected by ovarian cancer in the West Midlands will be supported to access Ovacome’s UK-wide services, such as the telephone support line (call 0800 008 7054, Monday – Friday 10am – 5pm), the online forum or specialist video call support groups, such as the Younger Women’s Support Group.

You can call Laura, our West Midlands Hub Co-ordinator, on 07586 899334 or email her at [email protected]

.

*Cover photo taken at the Ovacome West Midlands Hub launch on 16 January 2020. Actor Nina Wadia attended this event to show her support for those affected by the disease in the local area.