Civil Service Working Through Cancer Network
Supporting people at work who’ve been affected by cancer is an increasingly important topic, especially during lockdown and with a greater focus on working from home.
In the UK 1 in 2 people will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime and around 1 million people of working age have been told they have cancer. The impacts of Covid-19 on people affected by cancer are significant, and supporting colleagues in vulnerable and shielding categories is vital for physical and mental wellbeing, to ensure people feel able to deliver their best work and feel included and valued during these extraordinary times.
Last year the Home Office Working Through Cancer Network won the ‘Championing Disability Inclusion’ Award for its ground-breaking work to reduce the stigma of talking about cancer in the workplace and for offering practical, every day support to its hundreds of members. Since then, we have established the Civil Service Working Through Cancer Network!
In 2019 network chair, Seonaid Webb, delivered a presentation to CS Disability Champions. Afterwards she was contacted by several departments, asking for advice on setting up their own WTC networks and where cancer support networks already existed, looking to work together on cross-cutting themes such as improving HR policies, enhancing the lived experience of people with a disability, and building line manager confidence and capability. Membership has continued to grow throughout 2020 and at the last count there are now 25 organisations represented in the network, including Scottish, Welsh and NI governments!
We now have >150 trainers across the Civil Service.
The network has two simple principles: 1) to support people affected by cancer, as well as carers and line managers supporting people diagnosed with cancer, and 2) to normalise talking about cancer in the workplace to build a more inclusive culture and improve lived experience.