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Cancer charity CLAN reopens Elgin support centre

By Lorna Thompson

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A CANCER charity has reopened its Elgin centre to clients with a new booking system in place.

CLAN Cancer Support’s centre, on Elgin High Street, is now open on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 10am to 4pm, on an appointment-only basis to ensure compliance with social distancing. Clients are asked to book a slot through the CLAN website and will be asked questions on Covid-19 symptoms when booking and before entering the centre.

PPE will be provided to those entering the centre and enhanced cleaning is in operation.

Initially, the charity will be offering emotional support and its children and family service.

The drop-in centre closed on March 16 due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Tracy Sellar, CLAN’s cancer services area manager, said clients had greatly missed face-to-face contact.

CLAN Cancer Support's Elgin team.
CLAN Cancer Support's Elgin team.

She added: "We are delighted to be reopening our doors this week to our clients. We have been hard at work introducing new safety measures to provide a safe environment for our clients.

"We made the tough decision to close our centres a week ahead of the lockdown to ensure the safety of our clients and quickly pivoted our services to telephone and online support.

"While the online and telephone services have been a great source of support to those dealing with the uncertainty of a cancer diagnosis over the past few months, CLAN has had significant demand from clients for face-to-face contact with their cancer support professionals.

"It has been an incredibly challenging time for people affected by cancer, whether it be the stress of the diagnosis or having to shield over the last few months. That is why we have been striving to get our centres back open as soon as it was safe to do so.

"We recognise how significant face-to-face contact is for our clients and, while we will continue to offer the telephone and online services, it is so important to offer in-person support. Face-to-face contact has always been at the heart of CLAN’s support model, and in these challenging times it is more important than ever for us to be here for people, and their loved ones, facing a cancer diagnosis."

Since the start of lockdown, the CLAN team have provided 1,226 telephone support sessions, 424 counselling sessions, had more than 1,000 visits to its online support centre and 511 support sessions for children and families.

CLAN is urging anyone facing a cancer diagnosis to book an appointment at www.clanhouse.org, email elgin@clanhouse.org or call 01343 544132.

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