Newry mum on maternity leave helps cancer patients

Chris Brennan

Reporter:

Chris Brennan

Email:

chris.brennan@newrydemocrat.com

NEW mum Grace Kingham is giving up a few hours a week while she is on maternity leave to help cancer patients.

Beautician Grace, from Newry, has signed up with Cancer Focus Northern Ireland as a volunteer with the charity’s nail bar at Craigavon area hospital.

The charity has been running therapeutic nail bars in Craigavon and at Belfast City Hospital for the last seven years.

Grace’s mum looks after her six month old baby son John for a few hours every Tuesday so that she can paint nails and give mini hand massages for patients waiting for their cancer treatment.

“I work in the spa at Canal Court Hotel in Newry but I’m on maternity leave at the moment. I saw on Facebook that Cancer Focus NI was looking for volunteers and I thought it was something I’d like to do while I had a bit of time off work.

“I don’t like to be in the house too much so my mum takes the wee fella on Tuesday afternoons while I go to Craigavon. It’s only half an hour up the road so it’s not too far. Once I go back to work I won’t be able to do as many hours but I still plan to do one afternoon a month,” said Grace, who has also trained in complementary therapies for cancer patients.

“I really enjoy it. I love talking to people and you get a great sense of satisfaction taking patients’ minds off their treatment, helping them to relax and pass the hours while they wait. It can be a very long day. I also give them advice about their nails, which can be damaged by chemotherapy.

“I’m so happy to be helping Cancer Focus NI, they offer so many great services, it’s impressive. The nail bar is an excellent idea and the patients, who are going through a very tough time, really enjoy having something to distract them and make them feel a little better.”

Are you an NVQ level 2 beauty therapist? Would you like to volunteer to help cancer patients in your area?

Full training and support is provided by Cancer Focus NI and volunteers are generally asked to give a few hours of their time one or two week days a month, with flexible hours.

If you have a few hours to spare and would like to help, please email volunteer@cancerfocusni.org or call 028 9066 3281 and speak to Jade.

If you have any concerns about cancer, call the Cancer Focus NI Nurse Line on 0800 783 3339 and speak to a specialist cancer nurse.

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