Want to get your life back on track after cancer treatment?

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Southport and Formby residents living with and beyond cancer can benefit from a free Macmillan course to help them get their lives back on track after treatment.

The Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Service in Southport runs HOPE (Help Overcome Problems Effectively) courses, and has spaces available for the next programme, starting in October.

‘Bill’ from Formby was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2016 and struggled to get his life back on track once his treatment had finished.  He went from being a happy and outgoing person, to suffering from low moods which were beginning to affect his wife and children.  After speaking to a member of staff at Southport Macmillan Centre, Bill signed up to attend the next HOPE Course.

“The HOPE course has not only given me back my self-esteem and confidence in the future, but also my sense of humour – there were a few tears along the way, but many more laughs and the group formed a close bond which continues to this day,” said Bill.

“Macmillan are always there for you and provide a safety net, but the HOPE course helps you to take back control and to manage your life. I’d recommend anyone who is living with and beyond cancer to just do the HOPE course – it could change your life for the better.”

The HOPE course supports people to rediscover their strengths, manage the day-to-day impact of cancer and make the most of the positive things in life.

Dr Graeme Allan, Macmillan GP and Primary Care Cancer Lead at NHS Southport and Formby Clinical Commissioning Group said: “The HOPE course can take over when medical treatment finishes. It can help you rediscover yourself and overcome the emotional and practical challenges of living with and beyond cancer.”

HOPE is made up of weekly group-based sessions, each lasting 2.5 hours, which run for six weeks. They are led by the team from the Southport Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Service – one of the team has a medical background, and another has had cancer themselves.

Topics covered during the sessions will include: setting goals, managing stress, identifying strengths, healthy lifestyles, becoming more positive, changes to your body and fear of cancer returning.

Julia Fahey is a Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Service Officer and one of the facilitators of the course. She explained: “Cancer is one of the toughest fights most of us will ever face, but people don’t have to go through it alone. The HOPE course is delivered in a relaxed, friendly and informative way and aims to help the people taking part to feel happier, more confident, motivated and positive about the future.”

The course, which was developed by Macmillan Cancer Support and Coventry University, is due to start on Wednesday 24 October from 1.30pm at Southport Community Fire Station.

For more information, or to book your free place, please contact the Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Service on 01704 533024 or email sfccg.macmillancic@nhs.net.

Southport Macmillan Cancer Information and Support service has been working together with Southport and Ormskirk NHS Trust and NHS Southport and Formby CCG to provide a confidential, drop-in service to discuss any concerns people affected by cancer may have or for information about cancer, reducing the risks or living with the consequences of a cancer diagnosis.

To find out how the service can help you, drop in to the Southport Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Centre, Stanley Street, Monday to Friday from 10.00am to 4.00pm. Alternatively, call 01704 533024 or email sfccg.macmillancic@nhs.net to contact the service.