Gillian Advocates: Supporting Vulnerable People through Their Experience with Cancer
Having an advocate means you have someone who can and will fight your corner, perhaps when you are unable to do so yourself. Thrift Urban Housing runs a project called Gillian Advocates that was originally designed to assist people who have cholangiocarcinoma. This is a specific kind of liver cancer. However while our advocacy service was created with this particular cancer in mind, it now helps others regardless of the type of cancer they have.
One client we were able to assist recently has leukaemia. She is 84 and vulnerable and she wanted to make sure that when she was not around her home would still be safe and well-looked after until she returned.
Benefiting from two Thrift Urban Housing services
Fortunately we were able to assist this client not just through the services of Gillian Advocates, but also through our Stay Put service. These services are both designed to help vulnerable people in London in a variety of ways.
We were able to assist this client with various chats and company on a regular basis. We can also help with travel if and where required. She also needed our help to decorate the outside of her house and several rooms inside, including her bedroom. She also let us know about some essential repairs so we assisted her with those too.
The combination of the Gillian Advocates service and the Staying Put service made the world of difference to the client’s life. She said it was truly wonderful receiving help with shopping and taking care of a variety of other tasks for her. She said no other service provided the same degree of support. It was a great relief because a friend of hers had been ripped off recently on some roofing work she’d needed done. The roofer clearly had no conscience as her friend was suffering from terminal breast cancer. She has now referred herself to our London charity and we intend to pursue the roofer to reclaim some of the lady’s cash.
Thrift Urban Housing – helping London’s vulnerable residents wherever we can
The main focus of Thrift Urban Housing is to provide community-based services in London throughout the various boroughs. The programmes mentioned above are just two of the programmes we offer. People can recommend our services to those they feel could benefit from them, or they can refer themselves. By working in this way we feel we can reach the people who need us most.
The 84-year old client we mentioned above has been delighted and relieved to benefit from our services. This is a great example of how we do not restrict people to using just one service either. All the services provided by our London charity are closely entwined with each other. This enables us to offer the most appropriate services at all times, or alternatively a mix of two or more, depending on the situation.
In short, this is exactly the way we always wanted to assist vulnerable people living in London today.