Partnership approach will help the local community

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Students at Telford College have joined forces with Shropshire Telford and Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Group and a local charity to launch a cancer screening campaign.

They will be working with the Lingen Davies Cancer Fund to help increase the uptake of cancer screening among adults with low literacy levels across the area.

Telford College’s student engagement officer Dan Blasczyk said: “The scheme will address some of the barriers to screening and healthcare and promote the importance of cancer screening.

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Shropshire Telford and Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Group| Sanarya Ali, Zainab Rashed, Mohammed Ahmadi, Gerhard Lutterudt, Boahen Oshada Perera | Telford College

“Sometimes language can be a barrier, and people with English as a second language can struggle with terminology used in healthcare literature. We want to make sure they understand the reasons they should attend for screening.”

As part of the joint initiative, adult students studying English and maths at the college will review literature from Cancer Research UK, Macmillan, and the NHS.

“We will be looking to identify where there may be gaps in provision for different languages or alternative easy read versions which the CCG could then commission,” said Dan.

“The project will incorporate reading, speaking and listening which will support our students studying functional skills English and have a huge impact on the local community at the same time.”

Lindsey Mulhern, learner manager for English, added: “This project is a great opportunity for our students to help reduce barriers to health screening within their own local communities.”

The aim of the initiative is for students to become community champions who will raise awareness and promote the importance of health screening across the borough.

Dan said: “This campaign goes beyond education. Spotting the signs of cancer in its earliest stages is vital to improve the chances of survival.

“Many of our students are pillars of the local community and have already shown their eagerness to become cancer champion volunteers.”

Students taking part heard a presentation from Nicola Siekierska from the Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin CCG, and from Miranda Ashwell from the Lingen Davies Cancer Fund.

Nicola, who specialises in personalised care and health inequalities, said: “It’s fantastic to have this opportunity to work with the students at Telford College.

“It gives us the opportunity to develop relationships with communities whose voices are seldom heard, and to explore how cancer screening can be made more accessible to them.”

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