Director of Services
I am one of a team of caring professional people who want to support you during your experience with cancer. Most of my job is developing and directing services that support people seeking our services. I also manage the team of professionals and volunteers that make Cork ARC such a safe place to be. With over 20 years working in oncology nursing and management, I understand the need for the services we provide. The physical psychological, emotional and social affects of a cancer diagnosis can be more difficult to deal with than the treatments for cancer.
My experience and knowledge in counselling over 15 years allows me to support people in more depth with their feelings and experiences of cancer. Cork ARC provides a space for people, for their hearts and minds. Having the freedom to focus on what each person coming to the house is looking for means we can provide really meaningful support. Just like no two people are the same, everyone requires different types of support designed for them specifically. Each day is different, bringing with it its own challenges and rewards.
The fulfilment I get from the work is in the people I meet. They are so honest and open in their struggle to finding out how to cope and gain strength and meaning. The connection they allow me to make with them is what inspires me, even in the most difficult of times. The other big plus is the camaraderie of those who work and volunteer in the centre. Some days are difficult and it’s on days like these, that a gentle smile from one who knows when you need a laugh or a cup of tea will make all the difference.
Breast Cancer Nurse Counsellor
I came to work fulltime in Cork ARC in 2006 having worked as an Oncology Nurse for over 20 years. I felt from the start that this welcoming space was an ideal setting to offer time and space for patients and their families to come to terms with the changes a cancer diagnosis can bring. More recently in 2011, I qualified as a counsellor to help support my work.
I see the role as being like a co-pilot, helping to navigate through the various storms or challenges that can accompany a breast cancer diagnosis. I can draw from both my clinical experience and from the ‘pot of wisdom’ learned over the years from the patients themselves sharing their very real experiences. Cancer happens to people’s lives and I firmly believe that the person is his/her own expert in their experience and to have a space to be exactly as you are, is in itself healing. The work is very varied and at times challenging, but more importantly it is constantly evolving and being shaped by those who use the service.
COMMUNITY CANCER SUPPORT CO-ORDINATOR
Being responsible for the management and development of Cork ARC Cancer Support House service in West Cork and at NICHE in Cork’s Northside, my aim is that every person who visits our service feels that they are in safe hands and they find a place of shelter with us during their experience with cancer. Cancer is a journey with many bumps along the road but with the expansion of our services I hope more and more people will make Cork ARC a touchstone of support during their time affected by cancer.
Cancer is a physical illness, but there is also a psychological aspect to it as well – not just on the patient, but on the family, friends and extended community. My experience as an oncology nurse for the last ten years, both in hospitals and in the community has allowed me to see the true impact a cancer diagnosis has on an individual and their loved ones.
Cork ARC Cancer Support House provides a vital human connection during such a challenging time in a person’s life. For me, it’s about being present with that person, allowing them a space to talk and express their fears and anxieties and helping them to find a way to cope and gain strength and meaning. In the past I have found that people are overwhelmed by all the information that is out there and I want to help people to understand this information so that what lies ahead for them may seem less daunting.
Each day is certainly different, and it is inspiring to work with so many dedicated volunteers who give so willingly of their time and energy to make Cork ARC Cancer Support House a place where people can find emotional support, practical help and trust.
Nurse Co-Ordinator Team
With a background in Oncology, Cancer Clinical Research and Touch Therapies, our role in Cork ARC Cancer Support House is to manage the Drop-In Centre.
We will listen and support you in dealing with the changes to your life and provide an opportunity for you to speak and share the experiences and feelings you are going through. We can help you understand the landscape of cancer and the physical and emotional changes cancer may bring to your life. With us, you can voice any fears and uncertainties you may have. Together, we will be able to explore ways that best support your needs during this time in your life.
Our knowledge of cancer treatments and the side effects is coupled with our understanding of the physical, emotional, psychological, practical, social and financial affects of cancer. We believe in our service being person-centred. We bring understanding and compassion to each visitor and that is what makes our service holistic, allowing our supports to be tailor made to meet your individual needs.