Last year we applied for a grant from Tesco Bags of Help to run a series of Cancer Health and Wellbeing days across the Wessex region.
We were pleased to be shortlisted by their team of community champions and entered into the ‘blue token scheme’ in Tesco stores across Hampshire, Dorset and the Isle of Wight. Three charities watched excitedly as the token levels rise and fell and supporters reported back to us on how their local stores were faring!
We were absolutely delighted to find out, as a result of the public vote, we would be awarded £25,000! What an incredible outcome! All thanks to a fantastic outpouring of support from people living in the local communities we serve.
This funding is ‘restricted’, which means it must be used to run the project outlined in our original application, so our attention quickly turned to planning some informative, inclusive and enjoyable sessions that focus on the importance of emotional and non-clinical support, away from the hospital environment.
The days will be aimed at individuals with a cancer diagnosis along with a friend or family member. As well as bringing people together to equip them with some of the skills needed to support themselves through their cancer journey, attendees will have the opportunity to share their experiences with each other, ask questions and understand what other support services are available to them locally.
The Cancer Health and Wellbeing Days will focus on three key areas, each led by a speaker with considerable expertise.
Cancer Research UK has found that practising mindfulness can reduce anxiety and stress, as well as helping to control pain, difficulty sleeping, fatigue, nausea and high blood pressure. Cancer Forward has also found that mindfulness gives people a greater sense of peace, ease and resilience whilst living with cancer.
Nutritional advice has been proven to help cancer patients cope with their physical symptoms, as well as improve their mental wellbeing and help towards their overall recovery. Cancer patients can be at a higher risk of secondary problems such as diabetes, heart disease and osteoporosis, it is therefore key for cancer patients and their carers to learn how to follow healthy eating habits while managing the possible side effects of cancer and its treatment.
There is growing evidence that complementary therapies can help to control some symptoms of cancer and side effects of its treatment. Many complementary therapies concentrate on relaxation and reducing stress, helping to calm emotions, relieve anxiety and increase a general sense of health and wellbeing.
These Cancer Health and Wellbeing days will take place between April and September 2020, they will be free to attend and supported by some of our wonderful staff and volunteers who will be on hand to answer questions or just have a quiet chat with.
Keep an eye on the Wessex Cancer Trust website and social media channels for more information about these events over the coming months.