Updated: Jun 20
It wasn't until 2019 at Cygnus' Curious event that Charlotte heard of Al's Pals and it really hit her how oblivious she was as to just how many cancer patients will feel 'alone in a crowded room', even with their family and friends checking in.
Who are Al's Pals and what do they do?
Alan Dumbell was a patient at Milton Keynes Hospital who received cancer treatment. He noticed whilst receiving treatment that "he still felt very lonely and lost at times". He talked about having a 'buddy' to help and support him, and this is where his legacy developed. Alan's legacy to have a cancer buddy, thanks to his inspiring daughter, Suzanne Brown, the support of MKUH and Macmillan Cancer Support has continued to grow and help many others.
Al's Pals are a FREE service offered to cancer patients where they can have a volunteered 'Buddy'.
Your volunteered 'buddy' will: Treat you like an individual rather than a patient, they will sit with you whilst you receive treatment, help and support you and your family, if you are not comfortable discussing - with your permission they are happy to talk to medical professionals on your behalf and lastly they will be their for you and your family from the start to the very end.
Due to Covid-19, Al's Pals has only two active volunteers supporting cancer patients along with Suzanne Brown, Alan's daughter. All social distancing rules are applied with them kindly receiving PPE in order for them to support all patients who can't have visitors, as well as doctors and nurses in these difficult times.
How can you help?
Fundraising, donating & Volunteering
Like so many other charities, fundraising at the moment isn't possible so donations are heavily relied on, you can however have fundraiser at home and raise money to support Al's Pals, or spread awareness through social media, you would be surprised how many patients really need a 'buddy' right now.
You can donate below:
Want to know what they are getting up to and share with your friends and family?
Twitter - @alspalsmk
Facebook - @alspalsmk
Instagram - @alspalsmk
Lastly, I would like to say a huge well done and thank you to Suzanne Brown and her volunteers who have clearly been a huge support to so many people who need it, especially through these difficult times.
Would you like to know more about Al's Pals or how to fundraise? Drop us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org