Hello. My name is Denise Delaney and in September 2012 I joined Breast Cancer Care as Helpline and Ask the Nurse Manager.

Since then I've seen amazing work every day and I feel proud to be part of an organisation that makes such a difference to the lives of so many people.

Each year we carry out a survey of Helpline users to find out what callers think of the service. In 2012, 214 surveys were returned.

What the surveys said

  • 100% of people who filled in a survey said they'd gained support and information from the Helpline.
  • This was delivered in an empathetic way according to 90% of respondents.
  • They saw the Helpline as an independent source of much-needed emotional support at a time when they felt isolated.
  • For 93% the Helpline provided reassurance and help with decision-making. Also signposting to further avenues of support (91%).
  • 95% of callers were satisfied with the outcome of their Helpline call.

Reassurance and confidence

'The fear of the unknown is very scary. The lovely nurse made me feel that I could work through my fear and I did. It turned out fine and made me feel in control again.'

'I gained considerable comfort and great understanding particularly of the treatments that were being administered to my daughter.'

'It made me feel I was not alone and... had somewhere to turn should I need any related information.'

Someone to talk to

'A feeling of hope and not being alone. The [person] I spoke to was wonderful she was reassuring with a sense of humour... I felt she really cared about my wellbeing. I came away feeling very positive.'

Coping skills and self-management

'I learnt quite a lot from the conversation and now I feel better able to cope with and understand my situation. I just wish I had phoned sooner. It would have saved a lot of suffering emotionally.'

Knowledgeable relevant and personalised information

'Support and understanding from someone who had factual medical knowledge about my situation I was in…'

'I was very scared and the clinic I was attending always busy but the Helpline had time to answer my questions. I got information about my treatment and if I should have chemo. I was given two choices of chemo. I was pointed in the right direction.'

Value of the Helpline

  • The Helpline is ‘like a compass’ pointing them towards the right information and understanding through their journey.
  • It provides information tailored specifically to the caller’s need.
  • Callers felt they could ask any question on the Helpline without feeling silly and it feels safe because it’s anonymous.
  • Callers felt the Helpline restored some control lost through their breast cancer diagnosis by allowing them to make informed confident choices about their care.