Porthcawl charity founder honoured with BEM

Friday, 3 November 2017

By GEM Staff Reporter
in Local People

Porthcawl resident Diane Raybould has received the British Empire Medal for services to breast cancer from the Queen’s representative, The Lord Lieutenant of Mid Glamorgan, Kate Thomas CVO, and Vice-Lord Lieutenant of Mid Glamorgan Roy Noble, in an event which was hosted by Rhondda Cynon Taf Mayor, Cllr Margaret Tegg.

Following the death of her daughter and having been diagnosed with breast cancer herself in 2002, Diane launched the charity Rhondda Breast Friends (RBF) in 2006, with the aim of providing much needed information and support for breast cancer patients. She said: “The community support and partner organisations were at the heart of our success, it was priceless.”

Having challenged Cwm Taf LHB’s ‘Health, Social care and Wellbeing Strategy’, which did not incorporate cancer services, the charity worked with Interlink (WCVO) to set up the first cancer focus group in the country.

Diane quickly established it as a force to be reckoned with as 40 national and local cancer and carer organisations worked in partnership to improve cancer services and influence healthcare providers in Cwm Taf.

RBF also held the Welsh Government to account over eight long years on implementation of their Welsh Cancer Standards, with patients’ stories highlighting non-compliance by LHB’s across Wales.

The National Assembly for Wales (NAW) Petitions Committee showcased RBF in their publication ‘Petitioning: bringing your issues to light,’ as an example of how their petition had: ‘..helped raise political and public awareness about compliance with Cancer Standards… It helped give a voice to those who may not always be heard.’

The charity was her inspiration. Her hard work and tremendous drive towards patient engagement and partnership working with health care providers, has improved the quality of services and support for people with cancer and their families across Wales.

She has improved the lives of thousands of people, changed attitudes and has left a legacy for years to come. AS

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