Working life: Patricia Pugh, services manager at ARC Cancer Support Centres, Dublin

Patricia Pugh

The shrill sound of the alarm goes off. I hit snooze and use the first 10 minutes to practice mindfulness. 

This puts me in the right frame of mind before getting up to organise breakfast and lunches for my brood of six children. 

I’m out the door for 8am and on my moped - the most convenient mode of transport for commuting between the two ARC Cancer Support Centres which are open Monday to Friday, 10am-4.30pm.


At work, my first task is to check voicemails, emails and the busy day’s schedule for both centres. 

ARC is an organisation that provides psychosocial support to people who have been diagnosed with cancer, their families, and carers.


Today I’m facilitator for the Living Life Programme, an eight-week psycho- educative course for people living with secondary or metastatic cancer. 

The course covers many topics and includes guest speakers such as a medical consultant oncologist discussing treatments.


Meeting with Deirdre Grant our CEO to review and plan service developments. 

Services include counselling, complementary therapies such as reflexology, acupuncture, stress management, and relaxation, yoga and workshops. 

Workshops include a six-week prostate cancer programme and a six-week CLIMB programme for children aged five to 11 whose parent or significant adult has a cancer diagnosis.


Lunch. At this stage of the day, I often pop over to our other centre to check in.


Meeting with the small but dynamic fundraising team. All our services are free of charge so we rely heavily on the generosity of the public and our corporate partners for donations and grants. 

It is important for the team to be kept updated on what monies are needed for our service provision.


A significant part of my role is linking in with the hospital oncology teams and departments. ARC is strategically located to four centres of excellence for cancer care and is therefore very convenient for patients who would like psychosocial support outside of a hospital setting.


I head home for dinner and family catch-up then take Gypsy our dog for a walk.

* Patricia Pugh is services manager at ARC Cancer Support Centres, Dublin.

For details see or phone 01-8307333.


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