ArCaS to fund new cancer coordinator

Ruth and Allan Thompson cutting the celebratory cake, with 25 years service, they are the longest serving ArCaS volunteers.

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Arran cancer charity ArCaS is financing the appointment of a new cancer care support and services coordinator for the island, writes Hugh Boag.

Initially £30,000 a year for three years will be made available to fund the introduction of a specialist nurse to provide cancer care and support services for people diagnosed and living with cancer on the island, with a pledge that patients will be at the centre of decision making.

The post will be administed by the North Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership.

The news came at the 30th annual general meeting of the ArCaS, held in the Ormidale Pavilion, where the charity also celebrated the 30th anniversary of the charity, with volunteers Ruth and Allan Thompson cutting a lovely celebratory cake.

The AGM heard the ArCaS shop made £126,618 and £16,251 was received in donations for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2019. The patient transport costs were £28,378, ferry transfer £2,341 and complementary therapy £4,920.

Other gifts made by ArCaS were to: the Beatson Hospital – £20,000 to refurbish two relatives’ rooms and complementary therapy; Arran Medical Group – £33,004 for palliative care, cryosuccess gun and cartridges; Arran War Memorial Hospital – £1,700 for storage rental; community nurses – £392 for storage boxes, pillows and alarms.

The AGM also heard that £40,000, which was previously pledged towards the purchase of a state-of-the-art x-ray machine for the new accident and emergency department at Arran War Memorial Hospital, had now been handed over and spent.

Chairman Douglas Johnston said: ‘ArCaS is delighted to contribute to the very worthy and exciting island project – a cancer care support and services coordinator.

‘The trustees and committee of ArCaS would like to thank the people and businesses on Arran for their generosity, donations and support, and all the hard-working volunteers who have staffed the shop and the mainland drivers for their excellent service. Without this assistance, ArCaS would be unable to provide the services to cancer patients and support other organisations.’

The trust was set up in 1989 to help relieve the suffering and distress of people with cancer on the the island. Their fundraising centres on their charity shop at the pier in Brodick, staffed by volunteers, and generous donations and bequests.

The funds raised are used to provide transport to hospitals on the mainland for cancer patients. Any excess cash is dispersed to the community nurses, Arran general surgeries and mainland hospitals that provide diagnostic services and support for cancer patients and their carers.

The trustees are: Douglas Johnston (chairman), Elizabeth Ross (treasurer), Keith Cheshire (transport coordinator), Janet Rawlin (secretary), Philomena Campbell (complementary therapy coordinator), Aileen Auld, Andrew Walsh and Barbara Crawford. Lisa Remmington is the shop manager.

If anyone wishes to know more about ArCaS and the support offered to cancer patients, please pick up our booklet from the shop or visit