Volunteers who work to help people across Shropshire struggling with drugs, alcohol and housing have now been trained to start conversations about cancer.

Trainers from Lingen Davies Cancer Fund have been to The Shrewsbury Ark to train staff and volunteers to begin conversations with those they assist, in order to raise awareness about the signs and symptoms of cancer and help work towards more early diagnoses.

Ten people have been trained in total including staff from the Reset team, funded by Shropshire County Council which works in partnership with The Shrewsbury Ark, as well as members from housing concern, Ark colleagues and volunteers.

The training to become Cancer Champions is part of Lingen Davies’ long-running cancer awareness programme and those at the independent charity said it was hugely worthwhile.

Rose Greenslade, Day Centre Manager at The Ark, said: “It’s one of those things that can be difficult to talk about and it should be much easier so it’s useful to get as much knowledge about it as possible.

“Any training that the staff can have to be able to do more and feel comfortable themselves while using it is a good thing.”

The Ark has been running for 52 years and moved to a new dedicated building in Castle Foregate two years ago. Staff currently support about 23 rough sleepers who come through referrals, either by others or self-referrals, and when they can help they run a six-week project of support.

Lingen Davies is this year celebrating its 45th year of helping improve access to services and support for those affected by cancer across Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin, and Mid Wales.

The charity has been delivering Cancer Champions to businesses, charities, community groups and individuals for many years and most recently did so at HMP YOI Stoke Heath Prison in Market Drayton.

Miranda Ashwell, LiveLife Project Lead at Lingen Davies, said: “I’m very pleased we’ve been able to partner with The Ark in this way to deliver Cancer Champions training to staff and volunteers.

“They are in touch with so many people from so many different walks of life and sadly, with one in two people affected by cancer in their lifetime, this will be vital training they can put to use with the people they help.”

For more information about Lingen Davies, to donate or to get involved visit www.lingendavies.co.uk. For more information about The Shrewsbury Ark visit www.shrewsburyark.co.uk.

Pictured:  Miranda Ashwell far left and Kerry Morgan far right from Lingen Davies with staff and volunteers at The Ark.