North-east charity Friends of Anchor has tried to take services online as much as possible during the coronavirus pandemic to help cancer patients in their struggle.
Support groups, meetings and coffee mornings, previously so vital in sharing and discussing fears and concerns, have been made impossible during the last year due to Covid-19.
As a result, the Aberdeen-based charity, which also covers Orkney and Shetland, has reported an increase in isolation among patients as they undergo treatment.
Vicki Youngson, Friends of Anchor’s head of wellbeing, said: “Normally patients would go into hospital and, especially during chemotherapy treatment, be in a room together in a big circle.
“Patients formed that community themselves and they got support from each other, maybe to discuss things they don’t feel comfortable talking about with family.
“Obviously that’s completely changed now, they don’t have visitors going in with them, so loneliness and isolation is a big thing.”
During the last year Friends of Anchor has reached out with online “brew and blether” conversations to help patients discuss feelings.
Home comfort packs have also been dispatched with tips to help them sleep better and activities to help take their minds off their illness.
However, Mrs Youngson stressed the wellbeing of patients has not been the only focus of the charity during lockdown.
She said: “Staff wellbeing is very important to us too. It’s very difficult for them to be having these conversations every day too without support.
“We organised a special event for them on Valentine’s Day a couple of weeks ago, just to share the love with them.”