Clan launches new support group

Clan Cancer Support is launching a monthly peer support group to help reduce isolation for anyone in Shetland affected by a cancer diagnosis.

Da Clan Yarns will take place on the first Wednesday of each month from 2pm – 4pm at Clan Cancer Support’s base in Islesburgh Community Centre.

The meeting will enable attendees to talk about their cancer journey in a safe space, with wellbeing advice and support available from Clan and professional guest speakers providing information about additional local services.

The group is intended for anyone who may be impacted by a cancer diagnosis and is not limited to cancer patients – friends, family members and carers are also very welcome to attend.

Dorothy Jamieson, Clan’s Shetland area services coordinator, said: “Dealing with a cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming. Many of our clients tell us they find it helpful to chat to someone about their experience and have the opportunity to hear from others going through something similar.

“Da Clan Yarns was formed to provide a safe space in a non-medical environment for cancer patients, their carers, family and friends to promote mutual support and wellbeing amongst those attending and in doing that, we hope to reduce any feelings of isolation.

“Each session will be hosted by Clan with our specially trained listening and support volunteers on hand. Anyone who wants to come along can contact us to find out more information and register to attend.”

The public launch of the group follows a successful pilot by the charity, after recognising the need for a support group in the area.

A number of existing Clan clients have already been using the group as a way of dealing with their own diagnosis or that of a friend or family member, including Christine Robertson (57) from (Lerwick) who has now had cancer twice.

Christine said: “Cancer can affect you emotionally and physically and it can impact your mental health too. I felt anxious to attend the group at first but I was made to feel so welcome and was given the opportunity to book in for extra support afterwards.

“For me, it’s been really helpful to come and have a cup of tea and share my experience and listen to others talk about their diagnosis and treatment in a confidential and safe space.”

Clan Cancer Support provides emotional and practical support to people affected by cancer across north-east Scotland, Moray, Orkney and Shetland.    

Over the last 39 years Clan’s services have grown significantly to address the emotional and social impacts of cancer and include counselling, children and families support and health and wellbeing advice. The charity also operates Clan Haven which offers bed and breakfast accommodation near Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, providing affordable accommodation with onsite support for those who have to travel from home to Aberdeen for appointments & treatment. The Haven also caters for friends and family members.  

The charity supports more than 2,500 people every year in locations across the north-east, Moray, Orkney and Shetland using qualified and experienced counsellors, therapists and support volunteers to ensure its clients wellbeing needs are taken care of at all stages of their cancer journey.  

Da Clan Yarns will launch at Islesburgh Community Centre on Wednesday, Sept 5, from 2pm – 4pm and will take place on the first Wednesday every month thereafter.

For more information and to register to attend the group, please contact

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