Published on: 14 August 2020

Barnsley’s three Macmillan Cancer Support Workers are celebrating their one year anniversary in the new roles, working with the breast, colorectal and urology cancer teams at Barnsley Hospital. 

Last year Macmillan Cancer Support invested over £180,000 to fund the three roles which enhance the cancer care and support already offered to local people at Barnsley Hospital.  

The Cancer Support Workers work with patients to access support that may not need clinical nurse specialist input. The roles support the holistic needs experienced by patients including emotional, financial and psychological impacts of a cancer diagnosis.  

These past months the post holders, Diane Rawson, Amanda Prout and Shavaune Herbert, have supported around 300 people with personalised care conversations, as well as hundreds more with advice, support and signposting to local services that can help. 

Diane Rawson is the Macmillan Cancer Support Worker working with the breast cancer team at Barnsley Hospital, she said: 

 “The support offered is personalised to each individual going through cancer, there’s no one size fits all.  
“The role of the Cancer Support Worker is to ensure patients are able to discuss their individual concerns with us; to talk about what’s important to them so we can support the patient to live well and be safe.  It’s about recognising what matters to the patient, for example, family, emotional issues, financial concerns and being kept informed about what’s happening.  

“We may talk about what makes a good day for the patient and how we can help make this happen, or similarly what measures help to avoid their bad days.  This could include a referral to our team at The Well for complementary therapies, assessment for benefits or support for daily living.  We work with the Clinical Nurse Specialists to offer patients and their family reassurance that there’s someone they can call at diagnosis, through treatment and beyond.  

“When we started this job a year ago, we could never have imagined what 2020 had in store, but despite the pandemic we’ve been able to continue providing the support so desperately needed during this worrying time.  We know we’re making a difference to people affected by cancer in the town.” 

Sara Andrews is the Macmillan Project Manager and Barnsley Trust Lead Cancer Nursing Manager, she helped to secure funding and the recruitment of the Macmillan roles last year, she said: 

“I can’t overestimate the difference our Macmillan Cancer Support Workers make to people affected by cancer in the town.  They don’t just take workload off the Clinical Nurse Specialists, they add something extra, they bridge that gap between the hospital and community services. 

“The feedback we’ve had from patients has been amazing. The Cancer Support Workers give people resilience and strength through treatment and beyond, as well as signposting people to the wealth of support we have here in Barnsley.  Our hope is that in the future, we have Cancer Support Workers in all cancer sites, supporting our residents and their families when they need it most.

“They really are an amazing group of people and I feel very lucky to have them working in cancer services in Barnsley.” 

Every 90 seconds someone in the UK is diagnosed with cancer and Macmillan has continued to provide vital emotional, financial or clinical support for people living with cancer throughout the pandemic. The charity is encouraging people to sign up to this year’s Macmillan Coffee Morning wherever, whenever and however they can safely do so. 

You can sign up for a Macmillan Coffee Morning at or by searching Macmillan Coffee Morning. 

These roles are part of the Macmillan Living With And Beyond Cancer Programme working collaboratively to improve cancer care and support across South and Mid Yorkshire, Bassetlaw and North Derbyshire.