Steve Brine met up with Victoria's Promise on Friday 5th January, as he met the charity set up to support young women through their cancer treatment and beyond.
They launched their campaign in the first week of the new year to raise the £100,000 to bring their services to Royal Hampshire County Hospital so that the young women treated there will benefit from the support the charity is presently giving the young women at other hospitals in Hampshire and London.
Registered in 2014, following the death of Victoria Van der Westhuizen aged 29, her Husband, Mother and Brother founded Victoria's Promise to fulfill the wish she made whilst undergoing cancer treatment. A promise to help fill the needs outside of medical treatment that would make an enormous difference to young women with cancer and their families.
Three years on and the charity is making a huge impact across North Hampshire, helping to improve the quality of life and chances of survival for young women with cancer. One of the ladies who is grateful that VP was there for her is Erica. She said: "As someone who has benefitted from the support of the services provided by Victoria's Promise I know how much it means to me and how huge an impact it's had on my treatment and recovery. Thank you isn't enough I am so grateful to VP."
Victoria's Promise provides full support in areas that the NHS is not able to resource and fund. The services include counselling for the young women as well as members of their family as and when needed. This is an example of a service that whilst available on the NHS can currently take months to happen, whereas VP have this in place within days.
The charity is constantly evolving and bringing new services in as they arise from the needs of the young women they support. Services, such as child minding, house cleaning, Oncology massages by specially trained and oncology qualified therapists to give relaxation and pain relief, Oncology trained beauticians to help overcome the physical effects cancer treatment makes through loss of eyebrows and skin changes which emotionally upset women as they are constantly seen and feeling like a cancer victim.
Following treatment VP offer Nutritional Therapy to support full recovery and help prevent recurrence.
The charity has also set up VP Women's Networks Workshops which presently run in Basingstoke, Guildford and London. Having gathered reports from young women regarding their feeling of isolation, these fun and friendly evenings bring together young women with cancer in a positive, educational and enjoyable way. They are set up for women during as well as after cancer treatment when women are often at their most vulnerable.
The trustees and founders of the charity believe cancer shouldn't stop young women having the best life possible.
Dan Parr, from Cancer Services at Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, added: "VP is a life-changing charity with an incredible impact, highly regarded amongst patients and oncology nurse specialist. We are hoping the local community will pull together to support bringing Victoria's Promise to the people of Winchester."
Pictured; Steve Brine MP meets with VP General Manager, Dino Rakitzis
Get involved ...
To donate please text VPTW22 (amount) to 70070 or visit www.victoriaspromise.com/vp2w. Businesses who would like to get behind this and be an ambassador to the campaign please contact Dino Rakitzis, VP General Manager, by email email@example.com
Steve Brine is active right across his Winchester & Chandler's Ford constituency. You can now see news specific to where you live via our community pages.