Standing by the Watchtower

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Standing by the Watchtower: Volume 1

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Mightier Than the Sword UK is proud to present this collection of poetry in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support. All royalties from the sale of this volume are directly donated to Macmillan Cancer Support. For more details about Macmillan please visit www.macmillan.org.uk

Featuring work from poet and author C.S. Woolley, poet Alexandra Brennan and poet Tom Woolley along with contributions from Rebecca Granillo and Naomi Milnes this volume contains poetry that explores themes that include nature, life, death and love.

Our aim is to raise £1,000 to help support the valuable work that Macmillan do.

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How it came to be

C.S. Woolley had the idea of putting together this poetry collection to raise money for a cause that was close to her heart.

I had the idea of putting together the poetry book around Christmas last year. My driving force for raising money for Macmillan was my grandma Hilda. 

My grandma Hilda was a wonderful woman, firm, fair and loving. There were times she absolutely terrified me when I’d been naughty, yet whenever my family went to visit her and my grandad Arthur there would always be fresh crunch waiting for us (Crunch was her name for flapjack). She was an amazing woman, a lot of how special she was I have learnt after she died.

My Christian faith is very important to me and a few years ago my mother came to me and presented me with my grandma’s bible. It contains within it some of the most inciteful annotations of theology expressed in the most simple way, which is an incredible feat. She was generous and well loved by so many and had a lighter side to her that I have seen in pictures of her dressed as the good fairy, her costume made completely out of tin foil.

When I was only just in double figures of age, she was diagnosed with lung cancer, which eventually claimed her life. It was just after her 50th wedding anniversary and she had mysteriously received a card which simply read “It’s midnight, Cinderella.” that she was diagnosed. Over the next few months my mother spent a lot of time visiting her and we went down on several trips to see her too. I can remember camping because of how sick grandma Hilda was. 

It was a very difficult time for my extended family during which the Macmillan nurses cared for my grandma and supported my grandad. So I wanted to be able to do something for other people and families that are suffering from the effects of cancer, to be able to support Macmillan in the wonderful work they are doing and educate people that they are there.

After speaking to friends and other family members who gave their time and creative talents to the project Standing by the Watchtower: Volume 1 was published in July last year. So far £10 has been raised for Macmillan Cancer Support and C.S. Woolley is still hoping to see it reach the £1,000 goal before the end of 2015. There are also plans to produce Standing by the Watchtower: Volume 2 to raise money for Parkinsons Research, and two short story volumes, one to raise money for the British Heart Foundation and one to raise money for the Manchester and Cheshire Dogs Home.

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What can Macmillan do with the money

£954 could pay for a Macmillan nurse for a week, helping people living with cancer and their families receive essential medical, practical and emotional support.

£904 could pay for a Macmillan social worker or family support worker for a week. They work with community and social services agencies to help people manage the social and practical problems of living with cancer.

£866 could pay for a Macmillan rehabilitation support team for a day. The team would consist of around five professionals who would provide a range of rehabilitation support, such as physiotherapy and advice on diet, to help people living with cancer.

£755 could pay for a service provided by volunteers that offers emotional or practical support. The money would also fund a volunteer coordinator and the training and support of up to 30 volunteers for a working week.

£737 could operate our phone service for an hour. In this time, our cancer support specialists could answer 27 calls and emails from people who want questions answered, need practical or financial support, or just want to chat. (This figure is for an average hour; more people are helped during the phone service’s peak hours.)

£651 could fund a Macmillan cancer information and support officer for a week. This would mean more people affected by cancer would have someone to answer their questions and talk to about their concerns.

£650 could pay for the production of a self-help and support group’s quarterly newsletter for one year. This newsletter could help a group to keep in touch with its members, make them feel part of the group and encourage them to get support.

£625 could pay for the production of a master audio version of one of our booklets and 50 copies of it.

£617 could pay for a Macmillan benefits adviser to work in a Citizens Advice Bureau (or in a Macmillan information and support centre, a local council, or a hospital setting) for a week. In this time, they would advise people with cancer, their families and carers so they can access benefits and other kinds of financial support they are entitled to.

£561 could help run a large Macmillan information and support centre for a day.

£500 could pay for a spa pampering day for all the members of a self-help and support group. A day like this would help them to forget their cancer for a day and give them an important confidence booster when times are hard.

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£450 could pay for a Macmillan professional to attend an advanced course in pain and symptom control. This would help the professional provide better advice to people with cancer on how to control their symptoms and deal with the pain caused by cancer treatment.

£400 could pay for an equipment grant for a Macmillan professional, enabling them to buy specialist equipment to make things easier for the people they look after. For example, they could buy a (select as appropriate): speech aid, scalp cooler, recliner chair, stair lift.

£387 could pay for 822 copies of The cancer guide – one for every person who will be diagnosed with cancer today. This Macmillan booklet can help them and their families understand more about cancer, its treatment and the support available.

£370 could pay for the hire of a room for a year so a self-help and support group could hold regular meetings. 

£365 could help run a small Macmillan information and support centre for a day. 

£359 could operate the financial support element of our phone service for an hour. In this time, our cancer support specialists could, on average, deal with six cases and help secure £11,924 in unclaimed benefits.

£333 could pay for a Macmillan Grant that helps a family affected by cancer take a holiday and enjoy precious time together.

£300 could pay for an expert to run an online learning discussion forum that could educate people affected by cancer on how to set up a support group.

£278 could keep a typical Macmillan information and support centre stocked with all the information resources it needs to support people affected by cancer for a month. These resources would include booklets, guides, directories and leaflets.

£220 could pay for travel and accommodation costs for a self-help and support group member to attend a Macmillan workshop on dealing with loss and bereavement.

£191 could pay for a Macmillan nurse for a day, helping people living with cancer and their families receive essential medical, practical and emotional support.

£189 could pay for a Macmillan Grant that helps a person living with cancer heat their home when they really need to.

£185 could pay for a self-help and support group to set up their own website. The group could then use the website to promote itself, list the dates of meetings and encourage members to keep in touch and chat online.

£181 could pay for a Macmillan social worker or family support worker for a day. They work with community and social services agencies to help people manage the social and practical problems of living with cancer.

£160 could pay for production of leaflets and posters that a self-help and support could use to promote itself and attract new members.

£160 could help a person affected by cancer attend our New Perspectives course. This course could help to improve their confidence and provide them with skills so they can look after themselves more.

£157 could pay a Macmillan Grant that covers the cost of a person’s travel to hospital for treatment.

£151 could pay for a service provided by volunteers that offers emotional or practical support. The money would also fund a volunteer coordinator and the training and support of up to 30 volunteers for a working day.

£141 could pay for a Macmillan Grant that buys new clothes for someone experiencing a change in weight or body shape while undergoing cancer treatment.

£130 could fund a Macmillan cancer information and support officer for a day. This would mean more people affected by cancer would have someone to answer their questions and talk to about their concerns.

£125 could help pay for a telephone line to be set up for a new cancer self-help and support group, helping the group to promote itself and receive calls from new members.

£123 could pay for a Macmillan benefits adviser to work in a Citizens Advice Bureau (or in a Macmillan information and support centre, a local council, or a hospital setting) for a working day. In this time, they would advise people with cancer, their families and carers so they can access benefits and other kinds of financial support they are entitled to.

£100 could pay for a Macmillan Grant that buys fresh bedding for a person with cancer who is dealing with nausea, night sweats or incontinence because of their treatment.

Every £100 we spend on a face-to-face benefits adviser helps people affected by cancer claim £1,400 in benefits they are entitled to.

Every £100 we spend on our phone service could lead to our cancer support specialists helping people affected by cancer claim £3,322 in benefits they are entitled to.

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£85 could pay for a member of a self-help and support group member to attend a national networking event.

£70 could help run a large Macmillan information and support centre for an hour. 

£64 could keep a Macmillan information and support centre stocked with all the information resources it needs to support people affected by cancer for a week. These resources would include booklets, guides, directories and leaflets.

£62 could pay for our phone service’s cancer support specialists to help one person claim the benefits they are entitled to.

£60 could pay a health care professional to deliver a talk (for example, about symptom management) to a self-help and support group. 

£56 could pay for a Macmillan Grant that buys a liquidiser for someone who can’t eat solid food as a result of their cancer or treatment.

£50 could pay for a Macmillan Grant that buys a person with cancer a microwave oven. This would help to make the preparation of food easier.

£50 could pay for 106 copies of The cancer guide. This Macmillan booklet can help someone recently diagnosed with cancer, and their families, understand more about cancer, its treatment and the help available.

£50 could help a cancer self-help and support group provide refreshments to people attending one of their meetings.

£50 could pay for a manual to help a trainer run a course or workshop for people who want to use their cancer experience to improve cancer care.

£46 could help run a small Macmillan information and support centre for an hour.

£40 could help a cancer self-help and support group hold their first meeting.

£40 could help a person affected by cancer attend a workshop that provides them with skills to improve the management of their health and wellbeing.

In 2009, it cost £26.86 for our phone service to deal with each call or email it received.

£26 could pay for a Macmillan social worker or family support worker for an hour. They work with community and social services agencies to help people manage the social and practical problems of living with cancer.

£25 could pay for a Macmillan nurse for an hour, helping people living with cancer and their families receive essential medical, practical and emotional support.

£25 could pay for a person to receive quality information and support through one of our Mobile Macmillan Cancer Information Centres.

£25 could pay for a member of a cancer self-help and support group to go on a social event with other support group members.

£22 could pay for a service provided by volunteers that offers emotional or practical support. The money would also fund a volunteer coordinator and the training and support of up to 30 volunteers for an hour.

£19 could fund a Macmillan cancer information and support officer for an hour, meaning more people affected by cancer will have someone to answer their questions and talk to about their concerns.

£18 could pay for a Macmillan benefits adviser to work in a Citizens Advice Bureau (or in a Macmillan information and support centre, a local council, or a hospital setting) for an hour. In this time, they would advise people with cancer, their families and carers so they can access benefits and other kinds of financial support they are entitled to.

£15 could pay for 32 copies of The cancer guide. This Macmillan booklet can help someone recently diagnosed with cancer, and their families, understand more about cancer, its treatment, and the help available.

£13 could keep a Macmillan information and support centre stocked with all the information resources it needs to support people affected by cancer for a day. These resources would include booklets, guides, directories and leaflets.

£10 could pay for 21 copies of The cancer guide. This Macmillan booklet can help someone recently diagnosed with cancer, and their families, understand more about cancer, its treatment, and the help available.

£10 could keep five typical Macmillan information and support centres stocked with all the information resources they need to support people affected by cancer for an hour. These resources would include booklets, guides, directories and leaflets.

£10 could pay for 29 copies of our Men and cancer booklet. This features cancer information specifically produced for men.

£10 could pay for 26 copies of our Emotional effects of cancer booklet. This talks about the different emotions a person may experience following a diagnosis of cancer, including worry, anxiety, anger and sadness.

£10 could pay for 20 copies of our Understanding chemotherapy booklet. This includes sections on how the treatment works, when and how it is given, and possible side effects.

Every £10 we spend on a face-to-face benefits adviser helps people affected by cancer claim £140 in benefits they are entitled to.

Every £10 we spend on our phone service could lead to lead to our cancer support specialists helping people affected by cancer claim £332 in benefits they are entitled to.

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£5 could pay for 71 copies of our Money worries leaflet. This features information about how we can help with financial difficulties by giving advice on benefits and information on Macmillan Grants.

£5 could pay for the translation of 20 pages of a Macmillan information resource into Braille.

£5 could pay for 25 copies of our Cancer factfile CD-Rom. This resource is for health professionals and contains over 300 fact sheets covering a wide range of cancer topics.

£5 could pay for 11 copies of The cancer guide. This Macmillan booklet can help someone recently diagnosed with cancer, and their families, understand more about cancer, its treatment, and the help available.

Every £5 we spend on a face-to-face benefits adviser helps people affected by cancer claim £70 in benefits they are entitled to.

Every £5 we spend on our phone service could lead to our cancer support specialists helping people affected by cancer claim £165 in benefits they are entitled to.

£4 could keep two typical Macmillan information and support centres stocked with all the information resources they need to support people affected by cancer for an hour. These resources would include booklets, guides, directories and leaflets.

£2.50 could pay for an audio CD version of The cancer guide. This could help a person with sight loss or visual impairment receive the cancer information they need.

£2 could keep a Macmillan information and support centre stocked with all the information resources it needs to support people affected by cancer for an hour. These resources would include booklets, guides, directories and leaflets.

£2 could pay for 16 copies of our A quick guide to benefits and financial help leaflet. This features easy-to-read information about what financial benefits are available to someone affected by cancer.

£2 could pay for five copies of our Help with the cost of cancer booklet. This features information that could help a person affected by cancer who has money worries.

£2 could pay for five copies of our Diet and cancer booklet. This describes some of the dietary problems that may occur as a result of cancer or its treatment.

£2 could pay for five copies of our Men and cancer booklet. This features cancer information specifically produced for men.

£1 could pay for 14 copies of our Money worries leaflet. This features information about how we can help with financial difficulties by giving advice on benefits and information on Macmillan Grants. 

£1 could pay for five copies of our Cancer factfile CD-Rom. This resource is for health professionals and contains over 300 fact sheets covering a wide range of cancer topics. 

£1 could pay for the translation of four pages of a Macmillan information resource into Braille.

£1 could pay for two copies of our Managing your debt booklet. This self-help guide could help a person affected by cancer understand the basics of debt management and provide them with the tools to help them deal with their debts.

£1 could pay for two copies of our Understanding chemotherapy booklet. This includes sections on how the treatment works, when and how it is given, and possible side effects.

Every £1 we spend on a face-to-face benefits adviser helps people affected by cancer claim £14 in benefits they are entitled to.

Every £1 we spend on our phone service could lead to lead to our cancer support specialists helping people affected by cancer claim £33 in benefits they are entitled to.

80p could pay for the production of an audio cassette version of one of our booklets.

80p could pay for the production of an audio CD version of one of our booklets.

53p could pay for a copy of our Understanding radiotherapy booklet. This describes what radiotherapy is and the different types of radiotherapy treatment available.

49p could pay for a copy of our Understanding chemotherapy booklet. This includes sections on how the treatment works, when and how it is given, and possible side effects.

47p could pay for a copy of The cancer guide. This Macmillan booklet can help someone recently diagnosed with cancer, and their families, understand more about cancer, its treatment, and the help available.

45p could pay for a copy of our Managing your debt booklet. This self-help guide could help a person affected by cancer understand the basics of debt management and provide them with the tools to help them deal with their debts.

40p could pay for a copy of our Diet and cancer booklet. This describes some of the dietary problems that may occur as a result of cancer or its treatment.

38p could pay for a copy of our Emotional effects of cancer booklet. This talks about the different emotions a person may experience following a diagnosis of cancer, including worry, anxiety, anger and sadness.

36p could pay for a copy of our Help with the cost of cancer booklet. This features information that could help a person affected by cancer who has money worries.

34p could pay for a copy of our Men and cancer booklet. This features cancer information specifically produced for men.

25p could pay for the translation of one page of a Macmillan information resource into Braille.

20p could pay for a copy of our Cancer factfile CD-Rom. This resource is for health professionals and contains over 300 fact sheets covering a wide range of cancer topics.

12p could pay for a copy of our A quick guide to benefits and financial help leaflet. This features easy-to-read information about what financial benefits are available to someone affected by cancer.

7p could pay for a copy of our Money worries leaflet. This features information about how we can help with financial difficulties by giving advice on benefits and information on Macmillan Grants.

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More about Macmillan

One in three of us will get cancer and it’s the toughest thing most of us will ever face. If you’ve been diagnosed with cancer, or a loved one has, you’ll want a team of people in your corner supporting you every step of the way.

We provide practical, medical and financial support and push for better cancer care. We are Macmillan Cancer Support.

Interviews: Standing by the Watchtower

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