What is a Support and Information Centre?
A Support and Information Centre is a place that anyone affected by cancer (a patient, a partner or spouse, a family member, friend, colleague or carer) can go to in order to find out more about cancer and its treatment. Centres can also help you to access services which may help you to cope with your daily life following a cancer diagnosis.
In a centre you can spend time talking about your worries and experiences with staff and volunteers who have training and knowledge of cancer and cancer services. You do not need an appointment to visit (however sessions with some professionals will require a booking); just drop-in during the centre opening hours at a time to suit you.
If you are not affected by cancer but are worried about it you can also drop by to talk about your concerns and pick up some information.
In addition, the centre is open to health professionals, social care professionals and students who want to know more about cancer and what is on offer for patients and their families.
If you would like to talk to someone about cancer but are unable to visit you can telephone your nearest Centre for the support and information you need. Booklets and leaflets can be posted to you if necessary.
Where are the Big C Centres?
There are Big C Support and Information Centres at:
What happens in a Big C Centre?
The Big C Centre staff can help you with any questions you may have about cancer and living with cancer (please remember that in some circumstances your questions will need researching before we can give you an answer). Centres also provide:
a listening ear and a cuppa
an information library with booklets and leaflets that you can keep, as well as some bigger library books you may borrow on loan.
access to the internet
workshops on different topics such as healthy eating, exercise, life after cancer, returning to work, headscarf tying, relaxation
benefits and welfare rights advice
counselling and family therapy
complementary therapies such as massage and reiki
other creative therapies such as art therapy and creative writing
groups for carers
These services are free of charge to those who use them, but if you would like to make a donation to the Big C to help fund this work please speak to a member of staff. Donations are not compulsory.
Is there anything that a Big C Centre can not do for me?
Will the Big C Centre staff keep any information about me confidential?
Big C Centres have no access to your confidential medical notes and files which are held by your doctor or hospital specialist. If you are not certain of your exact medical diagnosis Big C Centre staff can not find this out for you. Please contact your hospital specialist or doctor if you need to find out something from your medical notes.
Staff are unable to give you any specific medical advice. It is important to speak to your doctor or specialist team if you need this. For example speak to your consultant if you need advice about which treatments may be best for you.
Yes. The Big C Centre staff will not disclose any information about you to another party without your written permission (with a very few rare exceptions required by law).
Minimal records are kept and identifiable information about you is kept secure. Only members of staff who need to know about you have access to this information.
Can I give my views to Big C about the Big C Centre service?
Big C welcomes any comments and suggestions you may have about the services we provide. From time to time you may be given a survey or feedback form to complete and return to us.
If you would like to discuss this with someone at Big C please see the Centre Manager and/or the Head of Clinical Services.