A NEW service has been launched in north Durham to support people living alone or who are carers and are undertaking chemotherapy.

Funded by Macmillan Cancer Support, The Durham Not Alone Direct Volunteering Service has emerged following reports of people living alone and experiencing difficulty with chemotherapy.

The aim of the service is to provide a listening ear and practical support. The service is provide by Macmillan trained volunteers.

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Jackie Easton, from Esh, and Dee Teasdale from Blackhill, Consett, are the service’s lead volunteers.

Mrs Easton has had cancer twice and also seen her husband and daughter face the disease while Mrs Teasdale has had cancer and has undergone surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Mrs Easton said: “I am really excited about this new project.

“When Dee and I were receiving chemotherapy, we were fortunate enough to have friends and family around us who were able to provide support.

“This new project came about following discussions among local people affected by cancer.

“We were hearing that some people were actually refusing treatment because they were alone and finding it difficult to cope.

“Macmillan has provided funding and training to get this project underway and we are excited at having made a start. “

Mrs Teasdale added: “We are fortunate to have recruited a small team of wonderful and caring volunteers who have been trained by Macmillan.”

The service is for anyone undergoing chemotherapy and living alone, or a carer, living along the Lanchester Valley from Durham City to Shotley Bridge and the surrounding villages.

Support, including light housework and shopping, is available during treatment and up to six weeks afterwards.

For more information contact Mrs Easton on 07410 950390 or Mrs Teasdale on 07410 950391.