Frome-based cancer counselling charity We Hear You (WHY) has secured a £5,000 grant to fund its online counselling service.  The service supports adults in Somerset, B&NES and Wiltshire who are affected or bereaved by cancer or other life threatening conditions.

The donation was provided by the Santander Foundation, which offers Discovery Grants to UK registered charities for projects that help disadvantaged people in local communities.

The charity, then called Positive Action on Cancer, was founded in 1994 as a telephone helpline for women with breast cancer. It now offers free professional counselling to people affected by any form of cancer and a range of other life-threatening conditions.

The grant will be used to fund the charity’s online counselling service, which enables people who are unable to attend sessions at WHY’s counselling locations to access support via a video link. The online counselling service uses a video platform similar to Skype or FaceTime so people in need of help can have a similar face-to-face experience to the charity’s other clients, without the need to travel.

Melissa Hillier, Director at We Hear You, said: 'We’re constantly reviewing our services to ensure all are able to access them. The online counselling service has been a great success since its launch. It’s fantastic to have that work recognised by this grant from the Santander Foundation, which will allow us to expand the service and reach more people in our communities who need our help.'

Laura Gerrish, Branch Director at Santander’s Trowbridge branch, said: 'The Santander Foundation makes hundreds of donations to local projects every year with the aim of assisting organisations, communities and vulnerable people throughout the UK. The staff at our branch know the great work We Hear You does in our community and we hope this grant will help them in their support for local people.'

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