A health and wellbeing event for people living with cancer took place in Gorleston earlier this month.
The Great Yarmouth and Waveney Macmillan Living With and Beyond Cancer Project organised the event to help cancer patients and their loved ones find out what support, information and services are available locally to help them.
The day was held on 1 April at the Louise Hamilton Centre and was organised as part of a two-year Macmillan-funded project which involves the James Paget University Hospital (JPUH), East Coast Community Healthcare and primary care.
The aim of the project is to help patients, their families and carers cope with the emotional and practical impact of living with cancer.
The event included organisations such as Sentinel Leisure, One Life Suffolk, DIAL, East Coast Therapy, the Big C, Can-Cervive support group, and the lymphedema service who, between them, offered financial benefit advice, carers support, advice on physical exercise, hand massage, and general advice for patients and their families. Each patient took home a free information pack too.
Feedback was very positive. John Stafford, one of the patients attending the event, said: “I found it very useful, and I felt that if I needed help in the future I would not be afraid to come back to any of the services on offer at the event.”
Many of JPUH’s Cancer Clinical Nurse Specialists attended and were available to chat to patients and answer any concerns or queries they had.
Cancer Service Nurse Lead for JPUH, Angie Fenn, said: “Working collaboratively with our partners in the community is so important in providing patients with the vital information of what services and support is available to them.”
Organiser and Macmillan Project Lead Lisa Luhman, said: “The impact of cancer doesn’t always end when treatment does. This event was a vital way for us to support people in our community who are coping with the impact of the disease and its treatment. Around 30 patients, their families and carers attended. We created a relaxed atmosphere in which they were able to share their experience, as well as receiving support from the organisations who offered free information stands on the day.”
The Macmillan Living With and Beyond Cancer Project is part of a wider programme of NHS cancer service transformation currently being undertaken at the JPUH. The aim is to improve experience and quality of life by ensuring that patients, their families and carers are provided with appropriate information and support to improve rehabilitation and manage any consequences of cancer and its treatment.