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Colleagues at one of Sunderland’s largest employers will now have access to a special work-based cancer support group, thanks to a group of compassionate workers.

Staff at EDF Energy, Doxford International Business Park now have the opportunity to attend new Cancer Support Network, which offers empathy and support to employees impacted by the disease.

The group was set up by one of the company’s charity champions, Lisa Sidney, following the success of cancer support groups at other EDF Energy customer service centres across the country.

The regular support meetings will offer guidance and advice to workers who are living with or recovering from cancer, as well as to those who have loved ones suffering with disease. An internal website has also been set up to provide useful resources and information.

Kevin Gatens, Doxford’s head of customer service, said: “The meetings are a confidential and safe place for people to provide support for one another, whether they are suffering from cancer themselves, whether their loved one is suffering from cancer or whether they have had past experiences with the disease.

“We hope that the group can make a positive impact and provide support to help people who are impacted by cancer to carry on with their everyday lives as best they can.”

Lisa Sidney, 31, from Washington, was recently the only person in the North East to win the EDF Energy Going for Gold award following her dedication to work-based fundraisers and charitable activities at the Sunderland centre.

The company also recently announced a new charity partnership with Breast Cancer Now, which is set to run for three years. The energy company hopes to replicate the success of its last three-year partnership with Marie Curie, which raised a significant amount for the charity.