The Paul Popham Fund, Renal Support Wales, has moved to new offices in Tawe Business Village, Swansea. It has also recruited a new support service co-ordinator. Hayleigh Isaac, a trained counsellor, will oversee the charity’s befriending scheme, which provides support to kidney patients.
The Paul Popham Fund works to improve the quality of life of renal patients in Wales, and a key part of its service is to recruit and train kidney patients and carers to support those currently undergoing treatment. As well as running this scheme, Hayleigh will provide counselling where needed, in collaboration with the University Hospital Wales.
Hayleigh has been a kidney patient since childhood so understands the issues faced by kidney patients. She initially started working with the Paul Popham Fund as a volunteer befriender, a role that prepared her for her new position recruiting and managing other befrienders.
In addition to its befriending scheme, the Paul Popham Fund works with the psychology department in the University of Wales Hospital in Cardiff to help facilitate support groups called, post-transplant Kidney Café support. As a result of this work, additional support groups have grown out of this. Part of Hayleigh’s role will be to help facilitate the growth of those groups.
Paul Popham’s daughter and The Paul Popham Fund, Renal Support Wales CEO Joanne Popham said:
“I’m delighted to welcome Hayleigh to our growing team. The aim of our befriending service is to match patients who need support to kidney patients who have gone through similar experiences, so they can share their stories and give support. Befrienders can help the patient feel more confident and gain some perspective on their particular circumstances and provide advice on treatment options and how to adapt their lives, they also sign post to other services that will support their individual needs. Our befrienders work to help patients and carers of kidney patients to address issues that are causing them concern with the aim of building a better quality of life.
“Hayleigh has first-hand experience of living as a kidney patient and understands how helpful it can be to link patients who have been through the journey with patients who are undergoing treatment. She’s a great role model: she is a mother, has done a degree, and is an excellent advocate for how you can lead a full life as a kidney patient.”
Hayleigh Isaac said:
“I’m thrilled to join the Paul Popham Fund as their support service co-ordinator. Kidney failure is an issue that is close to my heart, having been diagnosed with it over 20 years ago. The values of the Paul Popham Fund are very similar to my own and I’m excited to get started supporting patients and helping the service grow.
“The befriending scheme is hugely important because there is not a lot of support available, either socially or emotionally, for kidney patients. To have a service where patients can connect with others who understand what they are going through and how they are feel is incredibly beneficial.”
The charity’s recent office move will help accommodate its growing team and place it geographically closer to the patients it supports.
Joanne Popham said:
“We work with Morriston renal unit and the renal services in the University Hospital Wales, so this is the perfect location for us, as it has easy access to the M4. It’s also ideal because it allows more space for our growing team.”