Cancer Support France
Cancer Support France began life in 2000 around a kitchen table in the Poitou-Charente after its founder, Linda Shepherd, struggled to come to terms with her radiotherapy treatment. A fluent French speaker, Linda needed to unburden in her mother tongue. She simply could not express her deepest fears in a foreign language. On discovering other English speakers with similar problems, she started a regular coffee meeting in her home. Linda became aware that it was not only the patient who was being affected by the illness and its treatment. Partners, family members and friends, were struggling with their own problems and were invited to join.
Soon Linda was providing a service by telephone for those who could not make the coffee dates and in 2002, with the support of her oncologist, Linda registered as a French Loi 1901 not-for-profit association. The kitchen table became a small office in her local Mairie and Cancer Support France was born. The aim of the association was (and still is): To support English-speaking people living in France who are touched by cancer, whatever their nationality or country of origin.
Since 2002, a network of independent local associations has been set up across France. In 2009, CSF-Languedoc was formed and is now one of 16 local associations.
CSF-Languedoc is a thriving association that has grown steadily since 2009 with some 150 members supporting a large number of clients at any one time through the work of volunteers. The association provides practical, emotional and language support as well as offering therapy treatments to clients at home or at a regular monthly Drop In session. The volunteers are supported by a comprehensive in-house training programme to ensure that volunteers are equipped to carry out their roles.
To ensure that all these new associations were themselves supported, CSF (National) was created in 2010. The national association, also liaises with national and international organisations like ECPC (European Cancer Patient Coalition). Membership of this important body gives CSF an opportunity to comment and contribute to patient support at a European level.