Monitoring the impact of our work

Cancer nurse Anne-Marie

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Monitoring the impact of our work

The Irish Cancer Society (the Society) provides 17 programmes and services across the 4 stages of cancer – cancer prevention, cancer support, cancer survivorship and palliative care. We want to know if our programmes and services are making a difference to those who use them. Asking people about their experiences helps us to understand the needs of those affected by cancer so we can improve our programmes and services. 

How we measure impact

We ask service users to complete surveys after using our programmes or services. We have more information on how the Impact Monitoring programme collects and uses data.

What we found
Our cancer prevention programmes and services

We Can Quit

We Can Quit is a free, friendly and supportive 12-week programme which helps women to quit smoking and stay quit for good. The programme offers free nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), a weekly smoking cessation group and one to one support. 

5 in 10 women stopped smoking after taking part in the programme. 

“After 25 years smoking and 10 years trying to quit I have eventually been successful and this would not have been possible without this programme. Being part of a group and meeting every week really gave me the motivation to stop. Had I not have heard about We Can Quit I would still be smoking.”

Fit for Work and Life

The Fit for Work & Life programme is a community health promotion and well-being programme working with members of the community to encourage and support healthy choices, facilitating participants to be fit for both their work and personal life.

9 in 10 people increased their knowledge of cancer prevention after taking part in the programme. 

“Since taking part in Fit for Work and Life I have a greater awareness about the different types of cancer. I now take total control of my health through choosing the healthier option, paying attention to my nutrition and physical activity. This increase in awareness of health has meant so much to me.”

X-HALE

X-HALE is an Irish Cancer Society initiative that aims to prevent young people from smoking through educating and empowering young people, youth leaders and educators.

9 in 10 young people are more aware of the dangers of smoking after taking part in the programme. 

“X-HALE is a great chance to convince people to stop smoking. During this programme I learned that smoking is bad and can causes many health problems - I never knew there were 69 cancer causing chemicals in one cigarette. X-HALE helped our group come together and work as a team. It makes me and my friends think about not smoking when I'm older.”

Prevention publications

We publish a full range of booklets, leaflets and resources on cancer information and support, cancer prevention and more. You can download them on our website or obtain them in print format from our Daffodil Centres, our Cancer Nurseline Freephone 1800 200 700 or affiliated support centres.

7 in 10 people felt more supported to make changes to reduce their risk of cancer after reading our prevention publications. 

“It meant I could access real information about cancer and answer all my questions about the issue I was worried about and its causes etc. It’s great to have information that puts your mind at ease. The leaflets gave me an increased opportunity to share information with family and work colleagues in a relatively informal channel.”

Prevention website information

The Society provides reliable and accessible information on our website. A total of 15% of the information on our website is cancer prevention information. Our website has been providing cancer information to the public since 1999.

8 in 10 people were more likely to visit the doctor if they were worried about their cancer risk. 

“The website has kept me informed and when I have doubts or queries I know I can trust the website to give me answers. It’s an easy way to find out information on cancer and cancer services. It leaves me feeling supported, being informed, knowing there are sources of information, and feeling part of a cared-for community.”

Cancer Nurseline

The Cancer Nurseline is a Freephone helpline staffed by cancer nurses. It provides support, advice and information to patients, carers, the general public as well as healthcare professionals.

8 in 10 people were less anxious about their situation after calling our Cancer Nurseline. 

“Calling the Nurseline gave me support. I felt more optimistic and a little more relaxed. It helps to talk I suppose, I felt less alone - so thank you for that support. Overall, it gave me peace of mind.”

Daffodil Centres

The Cancer Nurseline is a Freephone helpline staffed by cancer nurses. It provides support, advice and information to patients, carers, the general public as well as healthcare professionals.

8 in 10 people were less anxious about their situation after calling our Cancer Nurseline. 

“Calling the Nurseline gave me support. I felt more optimistic and a little more relaxed. It helps to talk I suppose, I felt less alone - so thank you for that support. Overall, it gave me peace of mind.”

Our cancer support programmes and services

Cancer Nurseline

The Cancer Nurseline is a Freephone helpline staffed by cancer nurses. It provides support, advice and information to patients, those who support them, the general public, those with concerns about cancer as well as healthcare professionals.

8 out of 10 were less anxious about their situation after calling Cancer Nurseline. 

“The person I spoke to treated me as an adult and gave an honest answer to my questions. I have a diagnosis. All I wanted was information in a manner that I can understand. The cancer nurse was the first person to do that. Thank you.”

Daffodil Centres

Daffodil Centres are cancer information and support centres located in 13 hospitals nationwide. They are staffed by cancer nurses and specially trained volunteers. The centres provide face-to-face advice, help and support on cancer prevention information. They are strategically located in central areas of hospitals with a high footfall.

9 out of 10 got information and practical support that wasn’t available elsewhere. 

“It is a place where you feel safe to rant and rave and not be judged as you come to cope and accept what is happening. It’s a place where you can debrief, you are listened to, and guidance is shown to you. It’s where staff see you as you, not someone with 'cancer'. To be able to 'drop in' was amazing. The staff were always friendly and never rushed me. I would be lost without it.”

Website support information

Making available reliable and accessible cancer information is one of our key aims. We provide cancer information through our website. A total of 12% of the information available on our website is cancer support information. Our website has been providing cancer information to the public since 1999.

9 out of 10 people were more knowledgeable about cancer and treatments after reaching our website.

“Reading the website has made me feel a little less scared and more able to face whatever comes at me regarding my results.”

Support publications

Our cancer support publications include a full range of booklets and factsheets on cancer types, treatments and side-effects and ways to cope with a cancer diagnosis. . Our range of over 50 cancer support booklets includes Who can ever understand?: Talking about your cancer, Talking to children about cancer, Coping with Fatigue as well booklets focusing on individual cancer types.

6 in 10 people felt better able to support others with cancer after reading our support publications. 

“I trusted the information given, I felt no need to be looking at other booklets, this was honest, factual information and it was presented in a reassuring way. I felt supported.”

Support publications

Our cancer support publications include a full range of booklets and factsheets on cancer types, treatments and side-effects and ways to cope with a cancer diagnosis. . Our range of over 50 cancer support booklets includes Who can ever understand?: Talking about your cancer, Talking to children about cancer, Coping with Fatigue as well booklets focusing on individual cancer types.

6 in 10 people felt better able to support others with cancer after reading our support publications. 

“I trusted the information given, I felt no need to be looking at other booklets, this was honest, factual information and it was presented in a reassuring way. I felt supported.”

Financial Support Programme

Our financial support programme for children and their families aims to help cancer patients under the age of 18, and their families, who are unable to meet the specific financial burden that has come about as a direct result of their illness. This is a limited fund, awarded in cases where other non-charitable sources, such as social welfare, community welfare officers or community groups, are not able to help.

8 out of 10 people felt more in control of their financial situation after receiving financial support. 

“When a child is diagnosed with cancer, the treatment usually requires that one parent has to stop working for a period of time.  Financial worries can be very burdensome and the financial support relieved some of these worries.”

Travel2Care

Travel2Care is a limited transport support fund, made available by the National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP) and administered by the Society. The fund is available to cancer patients who are experiencing financial difficulty and travelling over 50km one way to designated cancer hospitals for tests and/or treatment appointments.

7 out of 10 people felt more independent to attend their cancer appointments on their own after receiving financial support. 

“The additional money from Travel2Care helped ease the burden of travelling every day to hospital. It is a great service. It meant that I was independent when I was going to and from my appointments.”

Volunteer Driver Service

The Volunteer Driver Service has been in operation since 2008. It provides free transport for cancer patients to and from their chemotherapy treatments as well as any chemo-related appointments. Patients must be attending one of the partnered hospitals of the service.  

9 out of 10 people felt the service was a suitable alternative travel support for them. 

“The service means for us that there is a lovely and generous organisational service available to patients receiving chemo, who are in genuine need of lifts to and from the hospital. It is a peace of mind knowing that I would be able to get to my chemo treatments on time, safely and returned home after receiving care and compassion from these volunteer drivers.”

Our survivorship services

Prostate Cancer Psycho-Educative Programme

The 6-week Prostate Cancer Psycho-Educative Programme aims to enhance the physical and psychosocial wellbeing and quality of life for prostate cancer survivors. The programme achieves this by identifying and responding to supportive care needs, including coping strategies and managing lifestyle changes.

9 out of 10 people were more knowledgeable about symptom management and side-effects of prostate cancer after taking part in the programme. 

“I have a better understanding of my problem and I am able to relate to other people. I understand how to overcome it now. The programme made me feel 'not forgotten'. Meeting friends in the same situation as me was great. Hoping we will meet again.”

Living Life

The Living Life programme is an information and peer-support programme for people who have recently been diagnosed with secondary cancer. The programme offers information, support and the opportunity to meet with other people who are living in a similar situation.

9 out of 10 people felt more hopeful about the future after taking part in the programme. 

“It has been nice to connect with others in the same position. I look forward to using the routine and knowledge which is power. It gets me out of the house and it is great to be with lovely people – makes you forget about yourself.”

Strides for Life

Strides for Life is a 15-week walking programme for cancer survivors. It is based on the “Murphy Cardiovascular (METs) Programme”. Strides for Life brings a participant through a structured walking programme, gradually increasing fitness and training over its course. The programme aims to bring the individual to a level of fitness where they can reduce their risk of recurrence and improve their health and quality of life.

6 out of 10 people said their Quality of Life improved since taking part in the programme. 

“The programme has been invigorating mentally and physically. It brought the realisation I could live life fully and happily. It added another dimension to the healing process. It was great to be part of a group where you don't have to pretend. It gave me a focus and a routine, increased fitness, friendship and setting goals.”

National Conference for Cancer Survivorship

The Irish Cancer Society runs an annual conference for cancer survivors, their family and friends, healthcare professionals as well as staff and volunteers from community-based cancer support centres. The aim of the conference is to provide information and support to people to live well after a cancer diagnosis.

7 out of 10 felt more hopeful about the future after attending the conference. 

“I was amazed at the amount of people who attended that were effected by cancer. The feel good factor after hearing all the positive outcomes and all the new types of treatments and all the trials that are being done to improve survivorship. I realized that you’re not alone on your journey and great to hear survivors speak of how they have come so far since their diagnosis.”

Counselling

The Society funds counselling sessions for cancer patients through the cancer support centres. Counselling is available for all patients who have had a cancer diagnosis, their family members and significant others such as a friend or a partner. Depending on the circumstances, this can take the form of one-to-one, couple or family counselling.

7 out of 10 expressed their feelings and emotions clearer after attending Counselling sessions. 

“It was recommended to me to attend counselling after I had a series of times where I would just burst into tears. All I could see in myself was the cancer and life in general was getting on top of me. Going to counselling has taught me to appreciate myself, make more time for myself, communicate better with family and coping mechanisms to deal with life events. It’s the best thing I've ever done for me.”

Daffodil Centres

Daffodil Centres are cancer information and support centres located in 13 hospitals nationwide. They are staffed by cancer nurses and specially trained volunteers. The centres provide face-to-face advice, help and support on cancer prevention information. They are strategically located in central areas of hospitals with a high footfall.

9 out of 10 Daffodil Centre visitors were less anxious about their situation after visiting the centre. 

“The support was amazing. I learnt about the services for cancer patients. It’s a lonely road and all these services make a difference. If it only helps one person, it’s worth it. I gathered lots of information. The nurse was a friendly face. Knowing there was light at the end of the roller coaster ride that is cancer. Even when you're done with treatment, knowing you can visit or phone the Daffodil Centre is great. Thank you.”

Cancer Nurseline

The Cancer Nurseline is a Freephone helpline staffed by cancer nurses. It provides support, advice and information to patients, those who support them, the general public, those with concerns about cancer as well as healthcare professionals.

7 out of 10 Cancer Nurseline callers felt more supported after speaking with a cancer nurse. 

“While I had downloaded your info sheet, talking to a real person helped me to support my friend. You provide a caring service. Talking to the nurse put my mind at rest.”

Palliative care services

Night Nursing

The Night Nursing service is a home nursing service established by the Society in 1986. The night nurses provide end-of-life care to cancer patients and their families in their own home. The service works to support and advise the patient’s family as well as administer pain relief and provide other nursing care to the patient.

9 out of 10 people felt more rested after the Night Nurse visited their home. 

“It meant that the last 2 nights of my wife's life were dignified, pain free and we had total reassurance that no matter what was required, and it could be dealt with. That was a huge comfort at the most stressful time in our lives.”

Daffodil Centres

Daffodil Centres are cancer information and support centres located in local hospitals across Ireland.  The centres are staffed by cancer nurses and specially trained volunteers. They provide face-to-face advice, help, and support and are strategically located in central areas of hospitals with a high footfall rate. 

8 out of 10 people felt les anxious about their situation after speaking with a cancer nurse. 

“The nurse was very kind and easy to talk to. When I got upset she was understanding and answered my questions. I was comfortable talking to her about cancer and she gave me loads of time. I was glad I paid a visit to the Daffodil Centre.”

Cancer Nurseline

Our Cancer Nurseline is a helpline staffed by cancer nurses. It provides support, advice and information to patients, those who support them and the general public, those with concerns about cancer, as well as healthcare professionals. 

9 out of 10 people felt less alone after speaking to a cancer nurse. 

“It has reassured me and my friend that help is there for patients, friends, family when required, alleviating the stress and anxiety from the situation they find themselves in. Continued success to you and all. What a fantastic service.”

How we capture and measure the impact of our services

These are the services we evaluate:

services evaluation graph

How do we find out what our service users thought of our services?

impact monitoring table

For more information

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01 231 0500

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