A Plymouth based cancer support charity is moving its base to Plymouth Science Park to help save vital funds to spend on people who need its help.
Operation Henry assists people with Pancreatic Cancer by providing practical support at a time when they need it the most.
The team supply small grants which help cover necessary expenses for a family affected by the illness.
The charity was set up in 2001 and, since then, its work has allowed cancer patients and their families to have respite and breaks away with their loved ones, it also provides home help and assistance in living costs.
Pancreatic cancer is the fifth deadliest cancer in the country. Its symptoms often go unnoticed and so the disease can be in the advanced stages by the time of diagnosis.
“Coming to Plymouth Science Park has really helped us reduce our overheads,”
says the charity’s manager, Sam Foley.
“We decided on having a virtual office at PSP as reducing our costs means every penny can go to where it is needed most. Being part of PSP allows us access to meeting rooms, the car park and also to the first rate facilities which are on site.”
The charity originally focused its work in the Devon and Cornwall area but it has rapidly expanded over the past few years to cover the whole country.
Its’ growth meant cost cutting became a necessity as it is now receiving referrals for help from Grimsby to Edinburgh to Manchester. Between 60 and 70 people every year are benefitting from its assistance which is typically around £500 per patient.
The funding can really make a big difference for the families involved. It can assist in paying for home help and cleaning services through to providing for taxis.
“It all depends on the needs of the individual,” explains Sam. “Financial costs can be very high and so we can help with the simple expenses incurred.”
“In one case, we were able to pay for out of school lessons for a child whose parent had pancreatic cancer. It was important as it allowed that small part of their family life and routine to continue during what was an extremely stressful period for them – both emotionally and financially.”