A CAFE boss locally is helping to encourage attendance at smear appointments with the promise of freshly baked scones. John Pagani from Annan’s Cafe Royal was shocked to discover that one in four women don’t attend their smears and that attendance rates are at a ten year low. Moved by the statistics, he decided to help shatter the stigma and encourage women locally to attend the potentially life saving appointments.
Mr Pagani said: “My cousin was diagnosed with a female related cancer at the age of just 57 and it really makes you think. Watching Loose Women and hearing about the low attendance rates, I felt inspired to do something.”
John and his team are now offering any woman who has attended their smear recently to pop in and say and they will be rewarded with a free coffee and scone. John said: “We want to smash the myth about it being embarrassing. It’s so important. Whether you’re a lifelong customer or new to the cafe, pop in and let us know about your smear – don’t be embarrassed!”
Meanwhile, mums are getting a helping hand too from two of the region’s private nurseries. Acknowledging that it’s not always easy taking your child along to such an appointment and that childcare can be tricky too, Wise Owls Nursery in Moffat and Sparklers Nursery in both Annan and Gretna are offering a short free session to cover the appointment.
Catherine Jackson, from Wise Owls, said: “We are situated just over the road from the local GP practice, we offer to look after Moffat mothers’ 0-5-year-olds for the duration of their smear appointment – usually less than 30 minutes – for free. “All they have to do is provide evidence of their appointment.” She added: “It’s such a quick and easy procedure but not when you have a toddler in tow!”
And Roz White, owner of Sparklers, added: “This is a standing practice for us any mum who is booked in for smear we will give free childcare, absolutely, at both of our nurseries.”
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