28/11/2013 - Permalink

Macmillan continues to support local people to get active and feel good

Related topics: Health / Partner organisations

News from our partners Macmillan cancer support 

Get Active, Feel Good is a project run by Shropshire Council’s public health team which has recently received extended funding from Macmillan cancer support to continue to support people affected by cancer in Shropshire and Telford in becoming physically active before, during, and after treatment.

The project also has a new Get Active, Feel Good adviser in post, Kim Davies, who can provide individual tailored support in starting regular, sustainable, physical activity.  She supports patients in overcoming any concerns they may have, and helps plan safe and effective exercise to build up physical fitness, which takes place in their local community rather than in hospital.

In its first year the project has been extremely successful and supported over 100 cancer patients, helping them manage symptoms and side effects of cancer treatment, or prepare and recover from surgery through physical activity.  It’s this success that has led to the project receiving extension funding and to becoming a finalist for Community Project of the Year at the recent Energize Awards, recognising people that take part, work and volunteer in sport and physical activity across Shropshire, and Telford and Wrekin.

Local resident Joy James was diagnosed with breast cancer for the second time this year and was referred to the project by her cancer nurse Sue.  She said:

“I had always been very active before my diagnosis, I did a lot of work in the community and kept fairly fit.  The chemotherapy I had as part of my treatment really slowed me up though, and meant I couldn’t take part in all the activities I had done previously, which I really struggled with.  So many people seemed to think that as a cancer patient I should have been resting, but really I just wanted to get back out there and back to normal.

“Meeting Kim at the project was great, she’s been very supportive.  She had lots of ideas about how I could get active again and suggested things I had never really considered.  She asked me about things I had done previously to keep active which I had enjoyed, and encouraged me to take them up again.  As a result, I have now started swimming more frequently and I am looking into starting aqua fit classes next year.  I’m also getting out walking regularly and going bowling each week with my husband.

“She gave me lots of information about other local services I could access and information to follow up on.  I feel as though Kim has helped to speed up my recovery and made me more active.  I already feel like I am doing thinks more quickly now and getting back to how I used to be.  It was also really valuable just to have someone there to listen to my concerns and anxieties, as well as to support me and advise me.  I found the project very useful and I am very glad to have met Kim; I hope more people access this service and realise the benefits.”

Miranda Ashwell, Shropshire Council’s public health programme lead, said:

“Physical activity plays an enormous role in the recovery and long term health of cancer patients.  It has been shown to decrease the risk of recurrence and of dying from the disease, as well as reducing the risk of side effects such as fatigue, depression, and heart disease.  It is great that Macmillan has recognised the value of the work the project does, and is continuing to support it.”

Kim is part of a team of local Macmillan experts supporting people affected by cancer every step of the way.  Macmillan is only able to support roles such as this because of everyone who gives their time or helps to raise funds for us.  We can all make a difference by working together.  Call 0808 808 00 00 or visit http://www.macmillan.org.uk/ to find out more. 

To find out more about Get Active, Feel Good email getactivefeelgood@gmail.com or contact Miranda Ashwell on 01743 253984.