shining a light on – SimPal

Chris Lewis, co-founder of SimPal

21st February 2019

Improving communication for cancer patients with no cost

Unfortunately, in the UK the instances of people being impacted by ‘cancer poverty’ are rapidly rising. As we are all aware, a mobile phone is no longer a luxury, but a necessity! Particularly when you are dealing with a cancer diagnosis. It is vital that you can stay in contact with family and friends, and importantly your GP and clinicians. But incredibly there are many people who now must choose between putting food on the table and funding mobile phone bills.

SimPal is a young innovative charity providing mobile phones and pre-paid sim-cards for people affected by cancer. Currently there is no other service like this in the world. The system has been designed to be hassle free for the applicants. There is no means testing or contracts to sign. Once approved, the applicant then owns the phone if one has been donated and has 6 months worry free communication. This offer also applies to people who are not directly patients but need to keep in contact with someone who is.

The feeling of isolation is one of the biggest things that people talk about after being diagnosed. Blair Papworth and Chris Lewis (the co-founders) were also aware that a mobile device is now the most popular way of giving and receiving information. It seemed crazy to them that the people who most needed this facility were the ones who could least afford it.

Chris is a long-term cancer patient, who runs his own successful cancer community website. Blair runs her own mobile communication business and together they are the driving force of this incredible charity. Their service extends to all parts of the country, and they have done this with purely organic growth and no advertising budget. It is recommended frequently by charities and Health Professionals. The charity receives no grants and is funded entirely by donations and is proud to be supporting approximately 450 families.

Applications for the service can be found via the charity website or the freephone number 08005677890. It really is incredible how such a simple idea like this can be truly life-changing for so many. The charity currently has cases of homeless people, end of life, people who can’t speak due to their cancer treatment, and people who don’t speak English. They are very experienced in this work and can signpost to other services if necessary.