We caught up with Joyce Ross from Beatson Cancer Charity to chat about her fantastic role and the phenomenal work that the charity does to help patients and their families across Scotland beat cancer.
Tell me a little bit about yourself and your position within Beatson Cancer Charity.
I’m Joyce, Corporate Partnerships Manager at Beatson Cancer Charity. Our main target is to create partnerships with organisations such as Primo Asssociates. We believe that working with organisations should be about the partnership and collaboration. It's about finding the best way businesses are able to support us and then we will do all we can to assist, creating a personal contact to the charity. Being part of a fabulous fundraising team we visit organisations throughout the city and have found ourselves visiting our supporters at various locations throughout West of Scotland.
What attracted you to the role?
I briefly worked with The William Grant Foundation as co-ordinator to the chief executive. What drew to Beatson Cancer Charity was the fact that some of my family had received treatment here and that there is hope. Patients are coming here to beat cancer and hopefully with support from the world of business we can help. That hope and having the opportunity to support patients and their families is just phenomenal, it's such a massive opportunity and I am so grateful for it.
What do you love most about your job?
That we are lucky that we get to meet some of the patients. If you meet someone in the Wellbeing Centre and have a chat, what more of a driving force do you need in your work? It’s very overwhelming and very emotional.
My role is so varied and I am a great believer I practicing what we preach. If we are running a cycle, I’ll do it. If we’re organising a walk, I will do it to the best of my ability. You cannot promote an event in a way that will enthuse others to take part without having the experience of doing it first. I once trekked in the Himalayas in India for eight days. It was tough but it’s something that’s a life changing experience, you’re raising funds but also getting so much out of it yourself. We also support other trekkers with the tools to raise funds themselves. There’s nothing that we don’t support - we’ve jumped out of planes and even abseiled off the Hilton!
Not everybody knows about the Wellbeing Centre, can you tell me a little bit about it.
The Wellbeing Centre provides a haven away from the ward. It’s open from 9am-9pm seven days a week. You can take family in, receive a warm welcome from staff, and get a smoothie, coffee or tea. There’s a TV room with sky sports, there are iPads, books, DVDs, jigsaws, treatment rooms, the hairdressing salon and wig service which has been so well received this year. Rather than patients looking for a wig stockist they just make an appointment.
Our complementary therapy benefits the patient and the families; it could be a hand massage or head massage, some form of relaxation. It is humbling and it gives you such a sense of purpose to help any way that we can, I suppose it’s clichéd but it’s such a worthwhile job and I’m really fortunate to have it.
Coupled with beauty and complementary therapy, patients can sometimes benefit from creative classes, the team are always looking for something a bit different.
What are some of the other unique facilities you provide for patients and their families?
We have a befriending service, some of our therapists from the Wellbeing Centre will go into the ward area and have a word with the ward staff and highlight some patients that don’t receive visitors and agree whether it’s appropriate to go and introduce themselves to the patients and ask if they can be of any assistance. We always look to how we can enhance the journey for the patient and their families.
Would you say the branding reflects the hope that the charity creates?
The branding is amazing, it’s so recognisable. At Off the Beatson Track last year we had just under 1900 people take part and everyone spoke about the west end turning yellow. People associate it with the brand; we are out there to raise funds but to raise awareness of how we spend these funds. We fund posts at the Beatson and the treatment that’s delivered there is second to none it’s the second largest cancer center in the UK but it’s the busiest. We are presently fundraising £850,000 radiography research project and currently fund clinical nurse specialists, radiotherapy posts and many others. Hearing of what they do certainly inspires us to raise awareness and ultimately raise funds.
Do you get a lot of support from local businesses like us here at Primo Associates?
Yes, we do. Businesses introduce us to new people, have a small events and volunteer. Volunteering has risen in the past few years and organisations are taking it very seriously. It’s about the outcome of the volunteering, it has to be beneficial for the charity but also for the individual, we want to make sure that they enjoy that experience. I work here but I also volunteer. When Primo Associates came on board and I met with John and Tony we had a great meeting. I was so excited; we have a bell in our fundraising office which we ring to celebrate new partnerships and support! We celebrate everything.
What advice would you give to someone looking to pursue a career at Beatson Cancer Charity?
Come and volunteer with us and get involved!
Find out more about the work of Beatson Cancer Charity here and how we'll be supporting them as out charity of the year over here.