A FREE counselling service for anyone in Worcestershire affected by cancer – including patients, their families and those who have beaten the disease – has been launched.

The drop-in service run from the Macmillan Information Centre at the new Oncology Centre at Worcestershire Royal Hospital runs from 1pm until 4pm every Wednesday and held its first session on June 17.

The scheme is run by counselling charity Relate Worcestershire and funded by Macmillan and has been launched following a study showing 25 per cent of cancer patients struggle to manage the emotional impact of the disease.

Counsellor Eileen Greaves heads up the service and said: “If you’re living with cancer or the effects of cancer, we’re here to help you cope and to help you keep your relationships strong.

“When we need our relationships most, the effects of cancer can pile on the pressure, so if you have any worries, no matter how small, just get in touch with us.”

Macmillan cancer information and support service lead Kay Tandy, who manages the charity’s information centres across the county, welcomed the launch of the service.

“We know that having cancer can be a difficult time not only for the patient but for their loved ones too and to be able to access emotional support is as important as being able to access practical information,” she said.

For more information call 01905 28051 or visit www.relate-worcestershire.org.