Chai Cancer Care – ‘a model of community-based support’

The charity showcased its services at the Houses of Parliament


Chai Cancer Care is recognised as "a model of community-based support". (l-r) MP Nicola Richards; Louise Hager and Lisa Steele from Chai Cancer Care; Marc Levy from the JLC and MP Richard Holden (Photo: Chai Cancer Care)

Chai Cancer Care has been described as “a model of community-based support” for those affected by cancer.

The charity, which currently supports over 4,000 clients at its centres across the UK, offers services to people undergoing cancer treatment, together with their families.

These include counselling, complementary therapies, physical therapies and a medical outpatient clinic.

The charity held a drop-in session at the Houses of Parliament, organised by the Jewish Leadership Council (JLC) and hosted by Nicola Richards, the Conservative MP for West Bromwich East. It was attended by 24 MPs from across the political parties.

Posting on X/Twitter afterwards, Richards wrote: “Great to host @ChaiCancerCare with @JLC uk in Parliament today for colleagues cross party to hear about the wonderful work they do, supporting the Jewish Community with cancer services and palliative care across the country. They have developed a blueprint for how best to support everyone affected, including family members.”

Receiving recognition of Chai as “a model of community-based support”, the charity’s chair Louise Hager told the JC: “For us, it was an opportunity to give back to the wider community and show best practice. It was fantastic that MP Nicola Richards said Chai was a blueprint for cancer care. It really confirmed to us that Chai is a leader and innovator in this field.”

Coinciding with the day that Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced the general election, the popularity of the drop-in, was “testament to what we do”, said Hager. “For the Jewish community to be able to showcase our work to the wider community has always been our remit. We said to the MPs that we would be very happy to share our experience with cancer support organisations in their constituencies or with people who were planning on starting one.”

Since opening its first centre in Golders Green in 1992, the Chai Cancer Care has grown exponentially. Their flagship centre is in Hendon, north-west London, but they also provide services in several other locations across the UK, including south London, Leeds, Essex and Birmingham.

Chai frequently works with other leading cancer care bodies, such as Marie Curie and the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead, north-west London.

Together with Jnetics, Chai Cancer Care has been instrumental in the recent launch of the NHS Jewish BRCA Testing Programme, providing support and information to those who have signed up for testing or who are considering it.

Hager said that MPs had been “very interested” in the programme and that Chai would be happy to share what they had learnt with other communities who wanted to roll out similar testing schemes.

Russell Langer, director of public affairs at the JLC, said afterwards: “We are pleased to amplify and magnify the work of our members by arranging regular drop-ins in Parliament. We thank the 24 MPs from five parties who were able to come and meet the Chai team, especially on such a dramatic day in Westminster.”

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