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Cois Nore was set up to provide cancer support in the community. Available evidence indicates that cancer patients who have their psychological and social needs addressed locally have better outcomes and quality of life. A cancer diagnosis brings its own fears and anxiety for the person diagnosed and all their family members.  Cois Nore provides a safe space to talk and to relieve the mental and physical stress that is part of every cancer journey.

The National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP) has outlined key stakeholders (like Cois Nore) as essential care providers for those on a cancer journey.

Group Smiling

Stepping Up

The inaugural Board started from scratch in 2013, putting down solid foundations. The current board was formed in 2020, and, building on the work, together they have developed a strategic plan that raised their ambition to match the identified needs within Kilkenny. The board have been diligent in their research, learning from community cancer services considered best in class in Ireland and abroad and mapping the availability of services and support in Kilkenny to identify the gaps.

The Board concluded that a dedicated centre was needed to provide quality support and care to families in the community in which they live. A number of possible sites have been identified and they are currently negotiating options. Based on the research additional services such as dedicated gym and nutrition support will be added to make a significant positive impact on cancer recovery. The board has finalised its plans to move to larger premises. This will support the development of new services and increase the number of people who use our service.  Cois Nore have started raising the €2 million, which will cover the purchase of the building, renovations, furnishing, and running costs for the first year. Their plan relies on the goodwill of communities across Kilkenny to work with us to raise the funds needed to achieve a first class service that the people of Kilkenny deserve.

The moment everything changes

Girl looking out window

Every single day, in two homes in County Kilkenny, a bomb goes off: that’s what it feels like to receive a cancer diagnosis.

The shock for the patient and their immediate family is overwhelming, with little time to adjust, the focus moves to
treating the disease. Most patients have a combination of hospital treatments that might last weeks, months or, unfortunately, even years. Five years after diagnosis, two-thirds of patients are still on their cancer journey.

‘The first day is the start of a long mostly uphill journey’.


Man staring out window

After their treatment programme, everything may seem calm and back to normal but it’s only then that the emotional toll becomes apparent. The sudden absence of weekly appointments, medical support and backup hits home and can leave a person feeling emotionally insecure, anxious and even guilty for feeling this way. Life for this person and those close to them may be uncertain, unstable and changed forever.

Friends and neighbours do what they can, preparing food, collecting children, or visiting the hospital. Everyone rallies around at the height of the storm – but it’s hard to keep it up for months or years.

‘Supporting people on a longer-term cancer journey takes coordination, perseverance and commitment’.

Patients and their families are reluctant to ask for help repeatedly, some families living with cancer feel they are already overdrawn from the bank of goodwill. For others, they feel helpless, hopeless and disempowered.

“Telling friends and family about my cancer was so hard as you’re looking at their shock and horror.”


Cancer changes everything forever

An average of 1 person from every household in Kilkenny City & County will develop cancer at some stage in their life