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Project information

Cancer & Chemotherapy Home Comfort Kits

Approximately 60% of cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy will experience nausea, hair loss, dry skin & mouth ulcers. Side effects that can be severe enough to impact on quality of life so that patients may interrupt or even give up on treatment.We provide Kits that can help patients to cope.

November 2013 - October 2014

Charity information: Respite & Recovery UK

Respite & Recovery UK logo
  • Need


    Approximately 60% of cancer patients having chemotherapy in the UK will experience related side effects. Experience shows that while hospital oncology departments give excellent advice regarding their treatment patients are rarely provided with a kit of useful remedies so that they can address the symptoms as they occur. Being prepared for the side effects can help patients to work on their symptoms early enough to alleviate them so that they can better respond to & cope with their treatment


    Respite & Recovery have build on our success this year in providing Chemotherapy Care Packs containing products & advice on preparing for & dealing with the side effects of chemotherapy as they may occur. Our beneficiaries have found them the most helpful way of preparing for & coping with these side effects. Based on the experience we have gained from distributing 4000 of these packs to cancer patients in 4 hospitals in the South West we plan to significantly extend this success rate.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Assemble Home Comfort Packs of items that have proven record of helping with chemotherapy nausea


    » Build on our work with suppliers of Non Invasive Acupressure Bands and ginger tea to gain a consistent supply of these at a cost effective price.
    » Continue to include Acupressure Bands & ginger tea in our packs both of which we know can significantly reduce chemotherapy related nausea & distress

    What success will look like

    Success is shown in feedback from 12000 cancer patients about how the packs have helped to alleviate chemotherapy related nausea so that they can better cope with their treatment.

    Aim 2

    Include in the packs items that have a record of helping with dry skin & sore mouths & cold heads


    » Continue to include approved non perfumed intensive skin care cream, hydrating lip balm, a soft toothbrush, sensitive toothpaste & mouthwash.
    » Where needed continue to include a towelling turban worn to help alleviate the potential cold, discomfort and embarrassment associated with hair loss.

    What success will look like

    Success - to bring comfort to 12,000 cancer patients that helps them to cope with other side effects of their chemotherapy treatment so that they are more comfortable at home.

    Aim 3

    To give advice to patients that supports them & the advice from their health care professionals.


    » Continue to Improve the fact sheets contained in the packs based on the experiences from the last 12 months of the project.
    » To extend liaison with cancer care support professionals at the hospitals we work with so as to ensure that the advice is consistent with their work.

    What success will look like

    Success is providing useful advice to 12000 cancer patients that helps them to prepare for & cope with the side effects of chemotherapy & review the packs based on their feedback.

    Aim 4

    To provide 12,000 packs to hospitals across the S.W. of England and include child friendly packs


    » Distribute a further 5,000 packs at Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital adult oncology department, evaluate their effectiveness & build on the results.
    » Distribute a further 2,000 packs Yeovil Hospital adult oncology department evaluate their effectiveness & build on the results
    » Distribute 4,000 packs between 3 other hospital oncology departments in the South West as a trial, evaluate their effectiveness & build on the results
    » Provide the R D & E Hospital Paediatric department with 1,000 child friendly packs for children being treated with chemotherapy .

    What success will look like

    Success will be providing support to 12000 cancer patients that alleviates chemotherapy related nausea so that they can cope with & continue with their treatment

    Aim 5

    To ensure a good return on donations while maintaining a high level of product quality


    » Continue to negotiate with suppliers to reduce the cost of the pack contents & explore links with relevant local businesses.

    What success will look like

    Success will be demonstrated by reducing our costs & gaining positive feedback from patients regarding the quality of each item.

  • Impact


    The project will: Help 12000 patients to manage the side effects of chemotherapy so that they feel more comfortable and able to cope with their treatment. Support cancer care professionals in their work with cancer patients. Demonstrate how effective such projects can be in the work to improve rates of recovery from illness. Provide packs of good quality items that are good value for money.Raise self esteem & confidence in our beneficiaries.Encourage community involvement.


    There is the risk that our keen pricing structure for items in the packs could be affected by changes to suppliers. We have dealt with this by only working with accredited larger suppliers. There are risks of being pressured to cut costs by using inferior, cheaper items in the packs. We will ensure that we only use well tested items with a proven record of success & quality. Risks to staff workloads - we have developed good communication systems with the staff involved & can address issues early


    Donations will be acknowledged:
    On the Respite & Recovery web site, Face-book and Twitter
    In the Respite & Recovery Newsletter
    In all publicity materials
    Donor contributions will be acknowledged In each pack.
    There will be evaluation reports from beneficiaries and health care professionals

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £193,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £72,000 Pack Contents 12000 Anti Nausea Bands
      £54,000 Pack Contents 12000 each of skin & mouth care items
      £25,000 Pack Contents 10000 Hats & Towelling Turbans
      £18,000 P&P & Insurance Packaging & Delivery 12000 packs insurance cover for the packs & delivery
      £24,000 administration full admin service for ordering, consultation, distribution and follow up

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Alcoa Ltd £3,300 Guaranteed
    Miss H Wyatt £30,000 Conditional
    Public donations £5,000 Guaranteed
    Desert Divas Ltd £2,000 Guaranteed
    Co-operative Bank £3,000 Guaranteed
    The Wright Family £5,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    We will support 5 oncology departments in large and medium sized hospitals in the South West of England which do not already offer these kinds of support packs to patients. Most of the patients live in rural areas where transport arrangements & costs reduce their daily access to health care shops & can leave patients feeling isolated from support.The project currently includes support from groups such as the W.I and Embroiderers Guild members from across the region.


    Cancer Patients who are starting their chemotherapy & those who are experiencing side effects from their treatment
    Patients who are finding It difficult to cope with their treatment
    Families of patients who want to be involved in supporting their loved ones.
    Health professionals who are seeking this type of help for their patients.
    The NHS in terms of supporting patient recovery rates & cost effectiveness as fewer people cancel their appointments. The local community can be involved.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We have;
    Success in running the project with excellent feedback from staff & patients. Personal experiences of the problems facing cancer patients & people in recovery from cancer treatments. We have a history of providing effective advice for treating side effects of chemotherapy. A team of dedicated volunteers. The strong support of local health care workers in the region
    Contacts with suppliers who are very supportive We are providing proven practical help prior to the onset of problems

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Annette Hamilton

    Organizer & Chair of trustees with 30 years experience of budgeting & negotiating She also has experience of being a carer

    Lisa Johnson

    Treasurer & administrator brings 20 years of business experience and her experience of prolonged cancer treatment and it’s effects on everyday life

    Helen Daggar

    Matron at the oncology unit with 20 years experience of supporting cancer patients.


will supply a kit for free.

Having cancer is bewildering enough without the stress of trawling the internet for advice. The fantastic kit helped me to get through my treatment.

Lisa P - a breast cancer survivor