A Powys charity supporting people with cancer has been awarded a £500 grant from Tesco to support it in its work.

The Llandrindod Wells-based Bracken Trust Cancer Support Centre has put the extra funding towards providing telephone and online nursing and counselling support to people affected by cancer, expanding its work to support patients across Powys and adjoining areas due to the lockdown.

The Trust was founded in November 1995 by Sister Grace Lawrence (a former Macmillan Nurse) and Sister Beryl Lichtenstein (herself a Cancer patient) together with GP Dr Hans Lichtenstein in response to a lack of support within rural Mid Wales for cancer patients and their families.

The Trust provides qualified nursing support and advice to cancer patients, their families, carers and bereaved relatives. It also offers counselling, a range of complementary therapies and other social activities which encourage people to manage their condition and maintain a good quality of life. With all services provided free of charge, the Trust currently supports some 300 patients who live in the Mid Wales and border areas.

Ann Williams, the Trust’s Manager, said, “The charity is incredibly fortunate to have great relationships with our local Tesco store in Llandrindod Wells, and especially with Jayne Griffiths, the store’s local Community Champion. As soon as the fund was released, Jayne sent me the link to apply.”

She added: “The Trust is about empowering people to live with, through and beyond cancer, by bringing together professional help, communities of support and creating an exceptional Centre for cancer care. The majority of services are provided at the Centre or at outreach hubs, however, nursing, counselling and complementary therapies are also provided in a patient’s own home.

“Despite the current Covid-19 pandemic, and the loss of all planned fundraising capacity for many months, we’re continuing to provide support Monday to Friday, nine to five. Throughout the lockdown nursing staff are providing telephone support, practical advice, signposting or advocacy services and the counsellors are providing help via telephone or video conferencing.

“The funds we have received from Tesco ensure the people who use the service have access to the best possible support during a time when they may face many difficult decisions and situations.”

Any local groups that would benefit from this funding are encouraged to apply here. The process is managed through our partner charity Groundwork’s website. www.tescobagsofhelp.org.uk

Rhodri Evans, Tesco’s Communities Manager for Wales, said: “We’re doing everything we can to provide support in the communities served by our stores at this difficult time and hopefully the £500 Bags of Help grants will help many groups in Wales who are committed to helping others.”