Managing Cancer in the Workplace

Published in Norfolk Director Magazine, Autumn/Winter 2019

Managing Cancer in the Workplace
With Big C, Norfolk and Waveney’s cancer charity

Directors and business owners understand that the success of a company centres around and relies on the people working within it. However, life can present twists, turns and unexpected challenges which you and the members of your team may have to face.

Each year in our region, around 8,000 people are told the news that they have cancer. For the individual and families affected, it can have a huge impact on their daily lives. Whether a patient or carer, everyday demands including family, work and financial commitments continue and can be very challenging to manage alongside a cancer diagnosis.

During tough times a supportive workplace can provide a sense of normality, as well as social and financial support at a crucial time.

Going through cancer with a colleague is something that may also affect the team’s wellbeing and a supportive work environment can make a big difference.

Cancer can be tough on business too. It is estimated that more than one third of people living with cancer are adults of working age (under 65) with UK industry losing an estimated £15.8 billion each year due to the impact of cancer in the workplace. Yet, with the right help this impact can be minimised.

Big C’s ‘In Good Company’ programme offers the opportunity for the county’s employers to partner with Big C to help work through the challenges of cancer in the workplace.

Big C’s highly specialist team of senior nurses and officers are trained to provide a bespoke support package, tailored to the needs of each business and its people. This could include one-to-one support for directors, senior managers and HR personnel, or help for individuals involved.

Dr Chris Bushby, Chief Executive at Big C said: “The thing that sadly unifies all Norfolk businesses is that any of them can be affected by cancer. Leadership can sometimes be a lonely place and we are there to help directors and business owners whether they have themselves received a cancer diagnosis and may feel vulnerable and a responsibility to their staff, or want someone to give team presentations on symptom awareness as part of a wellbeing programme. Every business we partner with through the In Good Company programme, provides an opportunity for Big C to continue the work we are so passionate about; helping to improve the outcomes for everyone affected by cancer in our community.”

Big C’s work focuses on four key areas; supporting people affected by cancer, funding world-class research into cancer, providing vital medical equipment and facilities in the county’s main hospitals and educating local people about cancer for the future.

Dr Bushby continues, “We want to talk to local companies about how we can work together. As Big C approaches its 40th anniversary next year, we look forward to partnering with more of Norfolk’s great businesses to improve the lives of those in our community affected by cancer.”


Managing Cancer in the Workplace 1

To learn more about Big C’s ‘In Good Company’ partnership programme, please contact Carole Slaughter on T: 01603 964492 or E:

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