Member News

At the Centre – Solas continues to support

Solas Services June July 2020A prominent sign facing the Williamstown roundabouts in Waterford (one of the busiest in the county), informs passers-by: “While our doors may be closed, we are still here to support you.”

In a message also highlighted on their website and social media platforms, it’s the Solas Cancer Support Centre’s way of reminding people in Waterford and the South East that throughout the Covid 19 pandemic and attendant restrictions that the charity organisation has adapted its services to ensure that people affected by cancer, their families and carers continue to be supported.  

Just over three months ago, on the 13th of March, the Solas Centre’s premises in Waterford entered a period of being closed to the public. It was a necessary move, in line with public health guidelines and also included a temporary cessation of its services in Dungarvan.

In the meantime, Solas continues to offer free support remotely. The team at Solas have been able to do so in three main ways:

  • a phone support service offering support and information, 
  • welfare checks with existing clients and
  • a phone counselling services with existing and new clients.

Over the next few weeks the Solas Cancer Support Centre in Waterford and its support service in Dungarvan are planning to resume direct engagements with the public.

Manager of the Solas Cancer Support Centre Tracy McDaid has confirmed a re-opening date and advised of what’s continuing to happen in the meantime:

“Like so many more in the community we serve, the Solas Centre has been through a very challenging time. As evident from our social media and other channels, we have had massive support in the intervening period – amid a determination among the team and the Trustees to ensure we continued to be there for people.”

“In common with so many businesses and services around us, we are preparing to re-open the Solas Cancer Support Centres in Waterford and in Dungarvan. The main focus of our plan in that regard is around client safety and confidence. We are informed in this planning process by the government’s ‘Return to Work Safely Protocol’ and the National Cancer Control Programme’s advice on the safe re-opening of cancer support centres around the country”

“In Solas, we will continue to offer our remote services in the medium term (phone us on 051-304304 or see www.SolasCentre.ie). The date in mind to re-open the Centres in Waterford and Dungarvan to the public is Monday 20th July’.

Whilst the Solas Centre’s premises was not in its customary use over the last three months, its Board of Trustees offered use of the building to the nearby University Hospital Waterford (UHW). Chair of the Solas Cancer Support Centre Board of Trustees Dee Jacques confirmed a short term arrangement for its use is in place :

“Being such a central part of the community in city and county in Waterford and being cognisant of the health needs of the South East at such a critical time, in addition to continuing our services remotely we are very keen to play a part in the wider pandemic management effort. We have always had a close, working relationship with our neighbours at University Hospital Waterford – who of course provide excellent cancer treatment services for the region. In the early stages of what has been a very effective response to the Covid 19 in the South East, we contacted management at UHW to offer use of the Solas premises. We are pleased to be taken up on the offer by UHW General Manager Grace Rothwell and delighted to facilitate a short term arrangement for an outpatient clinic to take place in the Centre. As an voluntary organisation funded by the community, it is wonderful to be able to see the Centre used in this way.”

 

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