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Tue 20 Jun 2023

Summer Tea with the All-Wales Cancer Community at the Senedd

Clear skies and glorious sunshine created the perfect backdrop for Summer Tea with the All-Wales Cancer Community on Wednesday 14th June at the Senedd.

Tenovus Cancer Care joined with stakeholders, Members of the Senedd, Sing with Us choir members, and members from their All-Wales Cancer Community to celebrate the first anniversary of the All-Wales Cancer Community.

Launched in 2022, the All-Wales Cancer Community provides a space for people affected by cancer in Wales to tell Tenovus Cancer Care about the issues most important to them, share their experiences and to give their opinion on a variety of cancer-related topics. Members of the community are given opportunities to help inform cancer services, research and policy.

On arrival and throughout the event, guests were invited to interact and get talking around four topic tables themed around diagnosis, treatment, information & communication and living with & beyond cancer. Tenovus Cancer Care staff and Steering Group members of the All-Wales Cancer Community were at the tables encouraging conversations between Community members, stakeholders and MSs.

Summer tea refreshments were served – including some vibrant cupcakes - before the beautiful sound of the Barry and Cardiff South Sing with Us choirs filled the room, marking the start of the speeches section of the event.

Judi Rhys CEO of Tenovus Cancer Care gave a warm welcome to all and stressed the importance of the Community:

“We’ve gathered – once again – to focus our attention on the importance of ensuring the people affected by cancer can share their stories and their voices are heard.”

“This is so important as we continue to recover from the covid pandemic and as the NHS struggles to navigate turbulent times. It is vital that people with lived experience can contribute to the service development, innovation, research, and policies that touch upon their cancer journeys and shape their cancer experiences.”

The All-Wales Cancer Community has grown to over 140 members, representing every one of Wales’ seven health boards:

“We’ve been working hard to ensure that people who have been affected by cancer recognise the value of sharing their experiences and feel empowered to do so regardless of where they live, their background, circumstances, or their education.”

Judi highlighted the impact that the Community has had so far:

  • 53 opportunities have been shared for members to contribute to at a pace at suits their availability, needs and experiences.
  • Members of the Community were amongst the 160 voices that informed the Cancer Improvement Plan for NHS Wales, setting the direction of cancer service delivery for the next three years.
  • Members of the Community have also shared their experiences and stories with the Health and Social Care Committee through its inquiries into endoscopy services and gynaecological cancer

Screens either side of the stage demonstrated the diverse range of projects and stakeholders who have benefitted from insight from the All-Wales Cancer Community – Cardiff University, Public Health Wales, Cancer Research UK, Health and Care Research Wales, Maggie’s and Macmillan, to name just a few.

Looking ahead, Tenovus Cancer Care are focused on growing the All-Wales Cancer Community’s membership and ensuring that it better reflects Wales’ demographics, to include people from all backgrounds and characteristics.

The event was sponsored by Rhun ap Iorwerth MS (now Leader of Plaid Cymru), who welcomed the work and impact of the All-Wales Cancer Community. He acknowledged the importance of people affected by cancer sharing their stories and experiences and looked forward to Members of the community continuing to influence the development of cancer services and cancer research across Wales.

The lunchtime event had good engagement from Members of the Senedd, with 21 MSs attending. It was great to see some of these MSs engaging in conversations with Tenovus Cancer Care staff and members of the All-Wales Cancer Community.

Tenovus Cancer Care’s new fundraising appeal ‘Tea for Ten’ was previewed at the event, where supporters are being asked to hold a tea-party, cake sale or coffee morning to help raise vital funds for their counselling service.

If you would like to be part of the All-Wales Cancer Community, it couldn’t be easier – just click here and fill in your details. The more voices we have, the stronger our impact can be.

If you or someone you love has been affected by cancer, our free Support Line is there for you. Just call 0808 808 1010