Our charity is run entirely by volunteers who all have experience of living or working with advanced breast cancer, also known as secondary, metastatic or Stage IV breast cancer. We need more volunteers to spread the word across the UK to help us raise our profile.
Second Hope is the only charity in the UK to focus solely on advanced breast cancer. We firmly believe that there is not enough support and information out there for people to understand the many issues faced by those affected by advanced breast cancer or that it cannot be cured.
It is estimated that around 36,000 people, mostly women, are living with advanced breast cancer in the UK. This figure is an estimate because until very recently, no accurate data was collected for those diagnosed let alone the effects on their quality of life. It is now mandatory for hospitals in England to collect data about those diagnosed with advanced breast cancer but there is no similar requirement in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.
Many patients, breast cancer charities and health care professionals recognise that without accurate data, decisions regarding what services are needed by those with advanced breast cancer and how to deliver them are inadequate and uncoordinated. This can result in unnecessary suffering or poor management for patients.
Second Hope has four main objectives:
- To raise awareness and increase knowledge of advanced breast cancer
- To support and empower those diagnosed and living with advanced breast cancer
- To campaign on behalf of those affected by advanced breast cancer
- To fund research into advanced breast cancer
HOW YOU CAN HELP US
Tell your family and friends about us, your GP, your local hospital and any other relevant groups in your local community. Use social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter to reach as many people as possible and encourage them to share the information. Leaflets will be available so that people understand our objectives and how to find us.
Ask doctor’s surgeries in your locality if they will give out our information leaflets and offer to keep them topped up. Local shops, gyms and other clubs may also be willing to display our information.
Write to your MP outlining the issues faced by those with advanced breast cancer and ask them to support any related parliament discussions such as the Cancer Drugs Fund. We aim to have example letter templates available on our website.
Help with our petitions
Some of our supporters have already initiated petitions to challenge decisions made by the government which directly affect those with advanced breast cancer. One petition, concerning drugs being made unavailable on cost grounds, gained sufficient signatures to be presented to Downing Street for consideration. Other important issues are inequality of access to drugs in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and access to disability benefits.
Fundraise in your local community
Either individually or as a group, fundraising is vital to our charity to enable the work we wish to do. Events can be great fun and not difficult to organise – a coffee morning, clothes swaps, walks, collecting loose change, quiz nights or larger events if you are inclined. See our separate section for fundraising ideas and information.
Share your story
If you or someone close to you has been personally affected by advanced breast cancer, you may like to share your story on our website, anonymously if you wish. Despite the reality of living with incurable breast cancer, many women have shared their inspirational stories, demonstrating that it is still possible to have a good quality of life with this diagnosis and it is not the immediate death sentence we all fear. Coping mechanisms, dealing with the side-effects of treatments and practical information all help to support others similarly affected.
We firmly believe that the “pink and fluffy” promotion of breast cancer as a curable, or even “best cancer to get” is unhelpful to the 30% of people who will eventually be diagnosed with advanced breast cancer, leading to much misunderstanding amongst the general public and even healthcare professionals. Second Hope seeks to address this imbalance by giving honest accounts of the disease without being overly morbid. However, we cannot disregard the 12,000 women who will die from advanced breast cancer every year, and it is in their memory that we hope to make a difference.
As our charity develops and grows, other opportunities to support us may arise, such as helping support women with advanced breast cancer and helping develop our resources.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What skills do I need?
Time, energy and a commitment to promote the aims of Second Hope. Good listening and communication skills.
How much time will I need to commit?
Your time and goodwill is valued and we understand that everyone has their own personal commitments. However much time you can spare, it’s up to you.
How do I apply?
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org telling us a bit about yourself and why you would like to get involved.
Will I receive training and support?
All volunteers will receive an informal telephone interview, when you will be given further information and can ask any questions you may have. You will always be supported by other members of the charity.
Will you require references?
Organisations need to be sure that a fair and equal process is undertaken to assess the suitability and identity of applicants, so references may be requested.
Will I need a CRB check?
The law requires that working with children or vulnerable adults requires a full police background check, so may not be necessary for some volunteering roles. If you have a criminal conviction you should disclose it with your application, but this does not mean you will not be accepted as a volunteer. These issues will be discussed at your interview.
Can I claim expenses?
Second Hope has made a pledge that all donations received go to fulfil our charitable aims and objectives, not to pay salaries or expensive overheads. At present none of our trustees or volunteers claim expenses, so you should bear this in mind when you make your application.
What if I can no longer commit due to personal commitments?
You may wish to become more or less involved over time depending on your circumstances, and we will always be sensitive to your situation.
PLEASE DONATE TODAY
Second Hope is run purely by volunteers, meaning that all donations received go to fulfil our charitable aims and objectives, not to pay salaries or expensive overheads