08 January 2020
Rays of Hope, a voluntary support group based in Elderslie, offers help to locals with cancer and their loved ones from diagnosis for as long as they are needed.
And the group – which aims to turn a negative experience into a positive one by offering emotional, physical and practical support – has been awarded funding through CALA Homes’ annual community bursary scheme.
Rays of Hope is the only group of its kind in Renfrewshire, preventing local cancer patients and their families from having to travel further afield for vital help and guidance.
As well as offering general support, social outings and psychotherapy, the group runs a range of activities – from creative writing and scrapbooking to gentle exercise and cookery – to members on a regular basis.
The £750 of funding from CALA Homes (West) will go towards purchasing and delivering ‘Boxes of Hope’ to newly diagnosed breast cancer patients undergoing treatment at Paisley’s Royal Alexandra Hospital.
Rays of Hope began making up and delivering the boxes after surveying group members on the items they considered ‘essential’ to helping them get through their treatment.
As well as a personalised message and card from a member of the group, each Box of Hope contains unperfumed toiletries, earphones, bed socks, mindfulness books, colouring books and pencils, puzzles, re-usable water bottles, tissues and eye gel.
Linda O’Malley, who leads the group, said: “The donation from CALA Homes (West) means the world to us, and we cannot thank them enough for their generosity. This money will go a long way in terms of ensuring we can continue providing three Boxes of Hope per week to newly-diagnosed breast cancer patients at our local hospital.
“The boxes mean so much to the patients as they embark on a difficult period in their lives. It’s a way for us to reach out and offer support, as well as giving them some of the more practical, essential items that we know, from our own experiences, they will need throughout their treatment. The feedback on the boxes has been fantastic, and we know that each and every one funded by CALA will be more than appreciated.”
David Wilkes, Surveying Manager at CALA Homes (West), visited the group to hear more about its work and see the Boxes of Hope being funded by the homebuilder.
He said: “It was wonderful to meet Linda and the rest of the group at Rays of Hope. The work they do is absolutely incredible, and they create such a warm, welcoming and upbeat environment for people going through a very difficult time. The Boxes of Hope are very special, and I am delighted that with our help even more patients will receive a little ray of hope to help see them through their diagnosis and treatment.”
Liana Canavan, Sales and Marketing Director of CALA Homes (West), said: “We are really pleased to support Rays of Hope. The group does fantastic work and is a vital resource for cancer patients and their families in the Renfrewshire area.”