Category Archives: Cancer Support Centres

Support Centres can help wherever you are

SUPPORT CENTRES help with ‘invisible’ costs of cancer

Support Centres not only provide support for those surviving, but research is proving that people who use a suitable centre for support  could be living longer.

At a recent Macmillan conference, a doctor mentioned in his speech that statistics tell us that ten years after diagnosis,  60% of cancer patients are still having to seek treatment for long-term side effects from cancer drugs.  So patients may still need support, years after their treating hospital has discharged them.

So the lucky ones turn to a Support Centre where they find a range of helpful assistance, which they can access when they want it.  This may include information, massage, reflexology and other therapies, benefits advice, counselling, dance and yoga classes, nutrition advice, etc.  They are all different, with different ‘specialities’;  their only ‘common’ factor is generally welcoming you with a warm smile and a cup of tea or coffee – before they ask how they can help.

Some provide help whenever and to whoever needs it – others have to limit what help they offer as they do not have the resources to look after everyone.  Ask.

Ashford Breast Cancer Support Group Ashford Hospital, Middx.  Meets 2nd Monday each month 017834-455760/01784-252 344

 

Asian Womens’ Cancer Support Group

They hold meetings last Friday of month at Shree Kutch Satsang Swaminarayan Temple,  Westfield Lane, Kenton,  Harrow, Middx,HA3 9EA.

Barnet and District Cancer Link Wednesday Drop-ins at Catholic Church of Mary Immaculate, Union Street, Barnet.  020 8446 3104 Weds. 1.30 – 4 pm. They supply physiotherapy, reflexology, manicures, etc. – and there is no waiting list!

BESS (Breast Cancer Ealing Self Support Group) Ealing Hospital.  Meet 3rd Wednesday every month.  020 8574-7939/020 8843-9582

 

Betterdays Cancer Care was founded by Marina Raime to provide advocacy and support for women with breast cancer. The primary objective of this organization is to provide a strong support base, particularly for BME women, and an emotional safe haven for breast cancer survivors to express their fears, frustrations, and concerns.  Marina says “we provide updates of breast cancer educational information, to teach each member and non-member to take responsibility for their own health, so that they can reclaim a sense of control in their lives”. www.betterdays.uk.com

Bosom Friends Community Cancer Centre, Yiewsley, Middx.  01895-448329

Breast Cancer Haven was just in London, but is now spreading across the country.  

They often choose to set up in unusual buildings (the one in London is in a redundant   Church)  and have lovely stained glass and other decorations – the one here is a window, which is peaceful to look at, but inspiring.

They offer different therapies, according to which therapists are available, but I had some excellent massages whilst I was there.        www.breastcancerhaven.org.uk

Bradford Cancer Support is an Independant Registered Charity, supporting  people whose lives have recently been  affected by cancer, in the Bradford Metropolitan District of West Yorkshire.  Offering Therapies, counselling, Art Therapy, etc. all  services are free of charge. l 01274 776688 or  www. bradfordcancersupport.org.uk
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CANCERactive is an independent charity that aims to help people increase their personal odds of beating cancer. To achieve this they believe in empowering people – to  understand the possible causes and to build effective integrated therapy programmes, using well-researched, Complementary and Alternative therapies not merely Orthodox ones – the best of the best.  Their motto is  Intelligent Information. Independent Voice.  They have a list of cancer support centres all over the UK – just click on the county and up comes a list of some of many centres.  www.canceractive.com

Cancer Choices, 29 Carland Road, Dungannon, Co. Tyrone, BT71 4AA

 

Cancerkin Centre at Royal Free Hospital, Just off North London’s Hampstead Heath.  It is a breast cancer charity. Its activities include: one-to-one support by trained volunteer visitors with personal experience of breast cancer. group support meetings, massage and reflexology, ‘Look Good – Feel Better’, Lymphoedema clinic by hospital specialist referral (upper limb problems related to breast cancer treatment only),Counselling, psychotherapy, Information – courses – seminars, Yoga class. Psycho-sexual counselling. Drop-in information library with internet facilities. Art therapy. Creative writing,  Pilates, etc.  020 7830 2323 or 2310   www.cancerkin.org.uk

Cancer Lifeline 44 Alliance Avenue, Belfast, BT14 7PJ (tel. no. 028 90 351 999)

Care for Cancer, 10 Prospect Court, Omagh, Co. Tyrone, BT78 1AR, (tel. no. 028 82 246 599)

Cherry Lodge Cancer Care Offers a Cancer Information Nurse, Welfare Benefits advice, Home Visiting, Massage, Reflexology, Reiki, |ilates, Qi Gong, Yoga, etc.   and Workshops.  23 Union Street, Barnet, EN5 4HY 020 8441 7000  www.cherrylodgecancercare.org.uk

Chelsea and Westminster Hospital Ground Floor, 369, Fulham Road, Chelsea, London SW10 9NH. 020 8237-2386. http://www.chelwest.nhs.uk Russ Hargreaves runs a small but very welcoming information centre, with a limited amount of therapies. Lots of sensible books and leaflets, and tea and coffees.  And when I need to have medical terms or theories explained to me, Russ does this in incredibly simple, easy-to-understand language.  He deserves a Crystal Award!

Chrysalis is the Crawley (Surrey) Breast Cancer group who meet at 7.30 every last working Monday of the month, at thePostgraduate Medical Centre, Crawley Hospital, West Green, Crawley.  www.chrysalisbreastgroup.org.uk

Community Cancer Support Drop-in Centre, Yiewsley, has opened to provide information and support for people with cancer and those caring for them by providing General information, counseling, support groups, complementary therapies and other services. Our aim is to help people who are diagnosed with cancer and feel isolated, vulnerable and afraid by providing the answers of their questions to provide support, access to self help, and to help anyone affected by cancer regain a sense of control in their lives.

We are a group of people who have had personal and professional experience of cancer and who are particularly aware of the need for people to talk when they or someone close to them has been affected by cancer.

We see the centre as bridging the gap between home and hospital, with links to all aspects of health care, voluntary and statutory.

The centre opening time: Monday to Friday 9.30am – 4.30pm  18A Fairfield Road, Yiewsley, Middlesex, UB7 8EX 01895 461016.  www.communitycancercentre.org.uk

Fatigue Management Service, Neil Cliffe Cancer Care Centre. Wythenshawe Hospital, Southmoor Road, Wythenshawe, Manchester M23 9LT Tel: 0161 291 2912

Guise and Dolls They were formed for Head and Neck Cancer patients at Guys and St. Thomas’ Hospitals in London (Florence Nightingale started St. Thomas’).  Their website is fun to navigate, and they have a moving poem from a breast cancer survivor on their site.  Good easy-to-read information about diet, and lots of fun things to click on.   http://www.guiseanddolls.org.uk

Harbour Cancer Support Centre offers a  wide range of services, open Mon – Fri 1000-1600, and Saturdays 1000-1230

Gosport, Hampshire  023 9250 1503  admin@harbourcancer.org.uk   www.harbourcancer.org.uk

The premises are located on the first floor, so if access may be a problem call them and they can arrange to come to your home or meet at an alternative location.

The Haven Centre, Blantyre Health Centre, Victoria Street, Blantyre, G72 0BS, Tel: 01698 727884

The Living Tree

The Living Tree, living well with cancer, is a self-help support group & weekly drop in based in West Dorset

but open to anyone who considersThe Living Tree
themselves within reach.

They meet Fridays 2.00-4.30pm at Friends MeetingHouse, 95 South Street, Bridport, DT6 3NZ and provide information,speakers & support on diet, exercise, relaxation, therapies, creative
arts etc to help us live well with and beyond cancer.
Contact: 01308 427851, jo@jovian.co.uk
http://www.thelivingtree.org.uk

Lifestyle Club is held at the Darnton Drop In Centre at Tameside Hospital, Ashton – under-Lyne
The Lifestyle Club was founded at the request of the patients who were interested in making healthy lifestyle choices. We initially started out meeting as a group (aka Weight Watchers) with a view to sharing hints and tips between patients, but this has evolved into one-to-one sessions where clients are able to discuss topics (such as fear of recurrence, body image issues) which they prefer to discuss confidentially.

Irene Murray is a qualified Life Coach, available between 11.30 – 1.00 to offer weigh-in, BMI and body fat testing, food diaries and advice on the 4 pillars of health: Nutrition, Exercise, Sleep and Relaxation.  A survivor of 9 years, who has devoted her time to researching Quality of Life and Healthy Lifestyle.  Specialises  in working with people after a diagnosis of cancer to make lifestyle changes to improve chances of survival and improve Quality of Life.                      01457 763474, 07887 654953 or via e:mail murrayirene267@btinternet.com http://www.tamesidehospital.nhs.uk/Pages/OurServicesDarntonDropIn.asp

Lynda Jackson Macmillan Centre, Mount Vernon Hospital.  Drop-in centre for support and information, telephone helpline, Benefits advice, pre-treatment advice, Complementary Therapies, Relaxation Sessions, regular courses and events.   Mount Vernon Hospital, Rickmansworth Road, Northwood, HA6 2RN.  01923-844014  www.ljmc.org

 

LILAC CENTRE , 3 Barrack Square, Coalisland, Co. Tyrone, BT71 4JG (tel. no. 028 87 746 600)

Macmillan have over 800 contact centres across UK.  Some are just a nurse with information – but some are large, well equipped centres.    Find nearest one on http://www.macmillan.org.uk/Get_Support/Cancer_support_groups/Search_Results.aspx?c=0

Macmillan aren’t just for the terminally ill, but have marvellous comforting centres all over Britain with helpful information staff, therapies and treatments, teas and coffees, etc. www.macmillan.org.uk

Macmillan also runs many centres in local hospitals, or privately in members’ homes, etc. If you want to find the nearest to you, go to http://www.macmillan.org.uk/Get_Support/Cancer_support_groups/Search_Results.aspx?c=0

Macmillan Support and Information Centre, Belfast City Hospital, 77-81 Lisburn Road, Belfast, BT9 7AB (tel. no. 028 90 699 201)

Maggie Centres are to be found in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee, Highlands, Fife, London, Oxford, South West Wales, Lanarkshire and Hong Kong.  

Maggie’s is a growing network of cancer caring centres throughout the UK offering high-quality, community-based support. Their  unique programme of support is designed to empower people to live with, through and beyond cancer.  www.maggiescentres.org enquiries@maggiescentre.org     0300 123 1801

 

Maggie’s London is the big orange building in the grounds of Charing Cross Hospital,  on the corner of Fulham Palace Road and Dunster Road  (go round to the side to find entrance – and head for the orange cube!) Join an activity – yoga, meditation, tai chi – get some advice or simply drop in for a cup of tea. Anyone affected by cancer is welcome including carers, family and friends. 020 7386 1750

 

 

Marie Curie Cancer Care Is one of the most helpful organisations, and also one of the UK’s largest charities, but has managed to keep its focus on why it was founded.  Founded in 1948 – the same year as the NHS – it  marks its 60th anniversary in 2008.   Basically it provides care for  terminally ill patients in the community and in their hospices, along with support for their families.  However, some centres also provide palliative care for cancer patients, which is now becoming allied with survivorship – so worth asking your local centre is they provide anything for you.    Phone 0800 716146 (for a wide range of queries, from asking how to get a Marie Curie Nurse to getting involved in fundraising events or making a donation).  www.mariecurie.org.uk – general

The Mulberry Centre sits in the grounds of the West Middlesex Hospital, surrounded by lawns and trees – with lovely gardens to sit out in!  Open daily, with late evenings four times a month.  They offer complementary and relaxation therapies, counselling, support groups, information library and workshops.  It has the Macmillan Quality Mark for excellent care in a support centre.   020 8321 6300  www.thermulberrycentre.co.uk

Northwick Park Macmillan Information Centre As you go in, there is a wide entrance welcoming you to the Macmillan Information Centre, with Helene Buijs and one of her helpful volunteers ready to answer questions.  No-one pounces on you, you can walk around on your own, but pretty soon someone comes up and gives you just the right leaflet, and piece of information you are looking for.  There is a regular session dealing with Benefits advice, which when I was there was giving excellent support and information.   The Centre reminded me of Aladdin’s cave – you just didn’t know what helpful leaflet was going to be found in the well-stocked shelves – but they have an incredible amount of information to offer.    It says a lot about the centre – I was told that all the volunteers that had been there when the centre opened, are still working, and very happily.  Northwick Park Hospital, Watford Road, Harrow  020 8869 5099  www.nwlh.nhs.uk.

Nottingham Cancer Patients and Carers Support Group hold meetings every 3rd Tuesday in the month, with a guest speaker of event.  Typical is their next event on Tues. 21st Sept. on Reflexology.  Meetings held in ‘A’ Floor Classroom of School of Nursing at Queens Medical Centre.                                                                                                                       For more details contact Freda Ingall RGN on 0115 931 3541

Paul D’Auria Cancer Support Centre As they say on their website, not the easiest spelling to remember – but the centre is warm and very welcoming, situated in Battersea, London. If you can’t visit, there is a very caring telephone Helpline;  they answer emails from all over Britain, and if you live locally but can’t get out, they have a Home Visit service.  Their AGMs are always standing-room only – and food at events is fantastic!   The Paul D’Auria Cancer Support Centre, a registered charity, was the first cancer support group to be set up in London in 1983.  Since then we have developed many innovations in the cancer support field, including helping to pioneer the use of massage for people with cancer.  The Centre has also won two national awards for the quality of its work.  20-22, York Road, Battersea, London SW11 3QS 020 7924-3924 http://www.pauldauriacentre.org.uk

Peterborough Breast Cancer Support Group are a very go-ahead team – join up with them and they have a lovely welcoming attitude.  You may be swept up in a pink limousine for Fashion Show, or take part in lots of other activities.  They have an extremely sensible and easy-to-read brochure about After Treatment – go to  http://www.peterboroughbreastcancersupportgroup.co.uk/aftertreatment.htm

Pinkladies.org.gg are based in Guernsey, and get up to all sorts of fun things!  They have a very useful local Contacts list.

Sara Lee Trust based in East Sussex, and offers therapies, acupuncture, massage, etc.  You need to be referred by a professional  (doctor, Macmillan or other nurse, GP, etc).                                                                                                                         25 UpperMaze Hill, St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex  TH38 OLB 01424-445177  http://www.saraleetrust.org

Shine Cancer is rarer in people under 50 and, although any cancer experience will be difficult, it is easy to feel especially isolated when you can’t find people in similar circumstances to you. Shine is a web-based support centre, running events all over Britain, and some of its happy members are pictured below!

Under 50 but not a teenager anymore, Shine is a web-based support centre, running events all over Britain. Some of the happy group that run these events are above!

You may have different concerns to other cancer patients such as preserving fertility , looking after young children, going back to work or starting new relationships.
Meeting others who have similar concerns can certainly help you feel less alone.  Making friends along the way is one of the positive side effects of cancer according to some of our members!
Focussing on social events and making new friends, Shine aims to empower younger cancer patients to improve their experiences, whatever part of their ‘cancer journey’ they are at.  www.shinecancersupport.co.uk

South East Cancer Help Centre is based in Purley, Surrey, and offers a wide range of therapies, group activities (including T’ai Chi on the lawn when fine) and talks.  020 8668-0974   www.sechc.org.uk

St. Mary’s, Paddington Vicky Harmer runs a ‘fun centre’ with lots going on, and the nice thing is – if you have been treated at a London hospital with no centre, you are welcome to come here. Speakers at their events range from Guide dogs for the blind, to dieticians.  Phone 020 7886-1425

Survivorship

At last!  The NHS realises that they SHOULD do something to help us after we leave hospital.  Macmillan already provide the basis for many support centres, but the NHS does not seem to realise how important these can be (e.g. the NHS cancer ‘flagship’  Royal Marsden says they have no need for a centre as patients come from far and wide – but most are from local area, and there is nothing !)

Macmillan are they are now involved in an a Consultation exercise on Living With and After Cancer.  More in on http://www.macmillan.org.uk/Get_Support/Living_with_or_beyond_cancer or  http://www.improvement.nhs.uk

and newsletter on http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/Publicationsandstatistics/Publications/DH_088879

Sutton Coldfield Cancer Support Centre

is celebrating their tenth birthday.  They offer therapies such as Aromatherapy and other massages, counselling, Yoga, etc. but also have various groups including a Walking Group.  0120 321 1300  www.suttoncancersupport.co.uk

The Ulster Cancer Foundation 40-44 Eglantine Avenue, Belfast, BT9 6DX (tel. no. 028 9066 3281).   Care Services Department with patient information conferences, support group meetings etc.  Counselling life-coaching courses, art therapy, creative writing groups, life stories (reminiscence writing) groups, ‘Beauty for Life’ workshops, a mastectomy and headwear fitting service, a family support service, a freephone cancer helpline (tel. no. 0800 783 3339 Monday – Friday, 9.00 am – 5.00 pm) and a patient advocacy group.  Patients, carers and their families can contact  for more information via helpline or call in to the centre for a chat or to view leaflets and pamphlets.

Velindre Cancer Centre, Velindre Road, Whitchurch, Cardiff, CF14 2TL.  Tel:  029 2061 5888

Weston Park Cancer Information and Support Centre,  Sheffield, offers a full range of therapies, counselling, courses on handling cancer, etc.  0114- 2265391 www.cancersupportcentre.co.uk

SUPPORT IN  OTHER COUNTRIES

Australia

Talking Cancer is a website where patients and carers share their experiences, and offer support and guidance.  It seems to be read by Australian nurses (with expert knowledge) as well as the general public. There are a range of discussion forums covering general cancer topics, specific cancers, and support for carers. The forums provide the opportunity to connect with others online, 24 hours a day.  The webmaster says they are particularly interested in stories from around the world , especially on ‘after care’.    http://www.talkingcancer.com

Canadian Breast Cancer Network  – Réseau canadien du cancer du sein 331, rue Cooper Street, Suite 300, Ottawa, ON K2P 0G5   613-230-3044 ext. 222  1-800-685-8820 http://www.cbcn.ca

France – two very helpful websites set up for English speaking visitors or residents in France, are  www.cancersupportfrance.info and www.pariscentresupport.com

Finding a local cancer centre that suits you

Maggie's centre, Ninewells, Dundee, UK, Frank ...
Maggie’s Centre, Dundee  Wikipedia

WHAT ARE THEY?

At first I thought they weren’t for me – I didn’t want to talk to a lot of other patients moaning about their aches and pains.

Then I was curious, and went to a Look Good, Feel Better session, and found these groups aren’t moaners at all – they run lively places that are full of laughter, with the bonus that often – over a cup of coffee – someone mentions something – could be about a new treatment, or just a simple solution to help with a side effect – and you come bouncing home to try it out.

So see list below of centres, and do let me know of others.

There is a lot of useful information I picked just having a chat, that was extremely helpful, not least the fact that speaking to others, I realised that the doctors had tried to make out that I was unique and no-one else reported the side effects I had.  Talking to other patients, I realised that thousands of us have the same problems – don’t listen to doctors!

However, you may need to try out a centre.  The first centre I chose was a bit ‘too much’.  We had to take a two-day foundation course, which consisted of lots of lecturing about our inner chakra and other-wordly things.  After a time I tip-toed out, only to bump in to another person – a doctor who also had breast cancer.  “Oops – I have just been phoned that I am urgently wanted in the surgery”, she explained.  What she really meant was she couldn’t take the intensity either – but out of the original 12 of us, ten stayed the course, so I was in the minority.

However, I soon found other centres, and they don’t demand foundation courses.  In fact they all seemed pretty laid back, and the only thing that seemed obligatory was to have a good laugh.

Although research in the States has proven that those who use a support centre – for a short or long time – on average live longer than those that don’t, the NHS leaves much of the after-care and support to the cancer charities, and expects them to help with our care after we have finished treatment. Don’t know about you, but I was handed a batch of leaflets printed by charities – and that was that.

The charities raise an enormous amount to fund this and other services, and the NHS can sit back knowing someone else is doing the work.

What they do for us

After I had finished my treatment, the Oncology nurse suggested I contact my local cancer centre, a charity. Frankly, the idea horrified me. In the past I had helped raise money for these charities – I didn’t think I was raising it for myself. Eventually I plucked up courage, and found that no-one is judgemental, but everyone wants to help.

Across Britain there are organisations such as Macmillan, Maggies, Paul D’Auria Support Centre, etc. that offer a welcome and help.  They are all slightly different, but at every one it seems obligatory to offer you a cup of tea or coffee the moment you come through the door!  That’s how welcoming they are.

If you haven’t visited a cancer centre – do find your nearest and GO.  Your Clinical Nurse Specialist should be able to give you the address. If you don’t have one, ask PALS or the information centre at the hospital.

There is always someone there to listen and point you in the right direction. At the Macmillan Centre in Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, Russ Hargreaves has an ever-open door and has comfortable chairs to sit in whilst you ask for information. Like other centres, we are given a welcoming environment, but the organisers always have the problem that their funds might dry up, and they have to close.

Recently, the Cancer Resource Centre in Battersea (now the Paul D’Auria Centre) celebrated its 25th Anniversary; which reminds us how long we have depended on these organisations to offer help. Here too, there is always a drink – and some wonderful cakes and biscuits – Honor and Claire and the others always seem to have a plate in their hand offering you something. There is also a large library, comfortable squishy sofas, and a chance to kick off your shoes and chat. And if proof were needed that the Centre does a fantastic job of supporting cancer patients, last year’s AGM was standing-room only, with over 125 present.

Side Effects

In all the libraries I have visited, I have looked up side effects of hormonal drugs. Yes, these are mentioned. But there is no basic information on what products will help us deal with these. So I asked NHS Direct if there is funding available to help improve provide this information. Somehow, I am not holding my breath!

MACMILLAN CANCER INFORMATION AND SUPPORT CENTRES

Here you find clear information and face-to-face support.

Visitors get to talk through issues and concerns with Macmillan staff and trained volunteers. The centres hold booklets, leaflets, videos and other sources of information about cancer, and some centres offer other services such as self help and support groups, or wonderful complementary therapies.

For more information contact Cancerline on 0808 808 2020 email cancerline@macmillan.org.uk http://www.macmillan.org.

Mobile Macmillan Cancer Information Centres

These visit high streets, communities and events to bring free, confidential information and support to everyone. You don’t need an appointment, and you’re welcome whether you have a cancer diagnosis, are visiting on behalf of a friend or relative, or are worried about cancer.

On-board Macmillan cancer information specialists provide confidential support and information tailored to your needs.

For information on the Mobile Centre for London and the South East (left), contact Rowena Howell on 020 8222 9043 or email mobileinfounit@macmillan.org.uk

For information on the Mobile Centre for the East Midlands and North East (below) contact Helen Tuvey on 01904 756406 or email emnemobile@macmillan.org.uk

LIST OF CANCER and other support centres

Breast Cancer Haven (Fulham and Hereford) You have to do a two-day Foundation course before you can take advantage of therapies.    http://www.breastcancerhaven.org.uk

Barnet and District Cancer Link Wednesday Drop-ins at Catholic Church of Mary Immaculate, Union Street, Barnet. Phone Eve 020 8446 3104 Weds. 1.30 – 4 pm. They supply physiotherapy, reflexology, manicures, etc. – but expect there is a waiting list!

 

CANCERactive is an independent charity that aims to help people increase their personal odds of beating cancer. To achieve this they believe in empowering people – to  understand the possible causes and to build effective integrated therapy programmes, using well-researched, Complementary and Alternative therapies not merely Orthodox ones – the best of the best.  Their motto is  Intelligent Information. Independent Voice.

 

They also have an excellent listing of cancer support centres all over the UK – just click on the county and up comes a list of some of many centres.  www.canceractive.com

CANCERKIN is a unique breast cancer centre, based in North London at the Royal Free Hospital, just off Hampstead Heath. Treat the patient, not just the cancer, has always been their maxim, and meetings there are lively, full of fun, and lots of sensible information.  At one I went to, the hostess was Dr. Doris Lister, who is just the kind of doctor you would love to have – and was full of sensible advice that was practical.   With nearly 20 years’ experience, it’s not surprising  that patients are referred from 35 hospitals within the London region to take advantage of their range of services.

Whether you’ve just been diagnosed with breast cancer and want more information, are undergoing treatment and need some TLC, are caring for someone with breast cancer and feel somewhat helpless, or if you’re concerned that you might be at risk, Cancerkin’s dedicated team is on hand to support you and your family.

Call them on 020 7830 2323 or 2310, www.cancerkin.org.uk or email info@cancerkin.org.uk for more information about publications , research, fundraising activities, courses and, of course, care.

 

Cancer Resource Centre (now known as Paul Daria Cancer Centre). This is oldest of centres (25 years old) and has Prof. Karol Sikora as its President. Very welcoming and lots going on (see below).

Cherry Lodge Cancer Care Offers a Cancer Information Nurse, Welfare Benefits advice, Home Visiting, Massage, Reflexology, Reiki, |ilates, Qi Gong, Yoga, etc.   and Workshops.  23 Union Street, Barnet, EN5 4HY 020 8441 7000  www.cherrylodgecancercare.org.uk

Chelsea and Westminster Hospital Ground Floor, 369, Fulham Road, Chelsea, London SW10 9NH. 020 8237-2386. http://www.chelwest.nhs.uk Russ Hargreaves runs a small but very welcoming information centre, with a limited amount of therapies. Lots of sensible books and leaflets, and tea and coffees.  And when I need to have medical terms or theories explained to me, Russ does this in incredibly simple, easy-to-understand language.  He deserves a Crystal Award!

Fatigue Management Service, Neil Cliffe Cancer Care Centre. Wythenshawe Hospital, Southmoor Road, Wythenshawe, Manchester M23 9LT Tel: 0161 291 2912

The Haven Centre, Blantyre Health Centre, Victoria Street, Blantyre, G72 0BS, Tel: 01698 727884

Lifestyle Club is held at the Darnton Drop In Centre at Tameside Hospital, Ashton – under-Lyne
The Lifestyle Club was founded at the request of the patients who were interested in making healthy lifestyle choices. We initially started out meeting as a group (aka Weight Watchers) with a view to sharing hints and tips between patients, but this has evolved into one-to-one sessions where clients are able to discuss topics (such as fear of recurrence, body image issues) which they prefer to discuss confidentially. http://www.tamesidehospital.nhs.uk/Pages/OurServicesDarntonDropIn.asp

Lynda Jackson Macmillan Centre, Mount Vernon Hospital.  Drop-in centre for support and information, telephone helpline, Benefits advice, pre-treatment advice, Complementary Therapies, Relaxation Sessions, regular courses and events.   Mount Vernon Hospital, Rickmansworth Road, Northwood, HA6 2RN.  01923-844014  www.ljmc.org

Macmillan They aren’t just for the terminally ill, but have marvellous comforting centres all over Britain with helpful information staff, therapies and treatments, teas and coffees, etc. www.macmillan.org.uk

Macmillan also runs many centres in local hospitals, or privately in members’ homes, etc. If you want to find the nearest to you, go to http://www.macmillan.org.uk/Get_Support/Cancer_support_groups/Search_Results.aspx?c=0

Maggie’s Centres (especially in Scotland) www.maggiescentres.org

Maggie’s Centre, London Charing Cross Hospital, Fulham Palace Road, London W6 8RF 020 7386-1750 http://www.maggiescentres.org Don’t be put off by the extraordinary bright orange building – it DOES have an entrance, but you have to go round to the back and then you fall over it! Once inside, the staff are incredibly welcoming, and there are superb biscuits as well as teas and coffees – plus lovely therapies.

 

Mulberry Centre This is open every day, with late evenings four times a month.  Offers a range of services including Complementary Therapies, rolling programme of Workshops and information on Welfare Rights and Benefits  ww.themulberrycentre.co.uk WMUH, Twickenham Road, Isleworth, TW7 6AF  020 8321 5438

Northwick Park Macmillan Information Centre As you go in, there is a wide entrance welcoming you to the Macmillan Information Centre, with Helene Buijs and one of her helpful volunteers ready to answer questions.  No-one pounces on you, you can walk around on your own, but pretty soon someone comes up and gives you just the right leaflet, and piece of information you are looking for.  There is a regular session dealing with Benefits advice, which when I was there was giving excellent support and information.   The Centre reminded me of Aladdin’s cave – you just didn’t know what helpful leaflet was going to be found in the well-stocked shelves – but they have an incredible amount of information to offer.    I t says a lot about the centre – I was told that all the volunteers that had been there when the centre opened, are still working, and very happily.  Northwick Park Hospital, Watford Road, Harrow  020 8869 5099  www.nwlh.nhs.uk.

Paul D’Auria Cancer Support Centre As they say on their website, not the easiest spelling to remember – but the centre is warm and very welcoming, situated in Battersea, London. If you can’t visit, there is a very caring telephone Helpline;  they answer emails from all over Britain, and if you live locally but can’t get out, they have a Home Visit service.  Their AGMs are always standing-room only – and food at events is fantastic!   The Paul D’Auria Cancer Support Centre, a registered charity, was the first cancer support group to be set up in London in 1983.  Since then we have developed many innovations in the cancer support field, including helping to pioneer the use of massage for people with cancer.  The Centre has also won two national awards for the quality of its work.  20-22, York Road, Battersea, London SW11 3QS 020 7924-3924 http://www.pauldauriacentre.org.uk

St. Mary’s, Paddington Vicky Harmer runs a ‘fun centre’ with lots going on, and the nice thing is – if you have been treated at a London hospital with no centre, you are welcome to come here. Speakers at their events range from Guide dogs for the blind, to dieticians.  Phone 020 7886-1425

Velindre Cancer Centre, Velindre Road, Whitchurch, Cardiff, CF14 2TL.  Tel:  029 2061 5888

NORTHERN IRELAND

The Ulster Cancer Foundation 40-44 Eglantine Avenue, Belfast, BT9 6DX (tel. no. 028 9066 3281).

Care Services Department with patient information conferences, support group meetings etc.  Counselling life-coaching courses, art therapy, creative writing groups, life stories (reminiscence writing) groups, ‘Beauty for Life’ workshops, a mastectomy and headwear fitting service, a family support service, a freephone cancer helpline (tel. no. 0800 783 3339 Monday – Friday, 9.00 am – 5.00 pm) and a patient advocacy group.  Patients, carers and their families can contact  for more information via helpline or call in to the centre for a chat or to view leaflets and pamphlets.

Macmillan Support and Information Centre, Belfast City Hospital, 77-81 Lisburn Road, Belfast, BT9 7AB (tel. no. 028 90 699 201)

Cancer Lifeline 44 Alliance Avenue, Belfast, BT14 7PJ (tel. no. 028 90 351 999)

·Cancer Choices, 29 Carland Road, Dungannon, Co. Tyrone, BT71 4AA

·Care for Cancer, 10 Prospect Court, Omagh, Co. Tyrone, BT78 1AR, (tel. no. 028 82 246 599)

·LILAC, 3 Barrack Square, Coalisland, Co. Tyrone, BT71 4JG (tel. no. 028 87 746 600)

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Support groups Worldwide

Bunch of flowers (Bódító virágözön)Flowers symbolise hope around the world
Image via Wikipedia

FRIENDLY SUPPORT GROUPS AROUND THE WORLD

If you live in another country, or your job takes you abroad – you are not alone.  These are some of the groups who have become very friendly – and helpful – when setting up this website.  They all sound nice helpful people!

BreastCancerStories.com gives breast cancer patients access to virtual hugs and support from family members as well as other patients across the globe going through a similar experience.  Breast cancer patients are provided with their own web space where they can upload chapters and photos as they progress through their treatments.  This is an easy way to keep loved ones updated without having to relive each experience with each telling.  Friends and family members can visit a patient’s website, follow their progress and leave loving messages of support.

It’s often difficult to know what to say – this format gives them a comfortable way to reach out.  What truly makes BreastCancerStories.com different from a traditional blog site is that the stories are all searchable by location, age, type of breast cancer, type of treatment, and lifestyle issues.  It’s healing to find others going through a similar situation, read their stories and even connect through email.

Wendy McCoole, Executive Director, also supplies tee-shirts with amusing messages.  I’ve got half the street wearing them! 001 603-759-5640  http://www.breastcancerstories.com

EUROPA DONNA (ED)

Is a European-wide Breast Cancer Coalition, whose affiliated member groups are from 41 countries  throughout Europe.

ED works to raise awareness of breast cancer, and is a very strong force that works in support of European women in pressing for improved breast cancer education, improved screening, better treatment and increasing funding where research is needed.

ED speaks with authority, and is able to take matters right up to the top of Governments around Europe – they are extremely powerful advocates on our behalf!

If you go to their website http://www.europadonna.com you can find your local country’s representative.  Do contact them, they are a very energetic and charming lot of people!  Or contact the HQ at Piazza Amendola 3, 20149 Milan, Italy, +39 02 36592280

AROUND THE WORLD

France With so many of us living in France, or going to France for treatment, there is a very helpful organisation set up www.cancersupportfrance.info

Malaysia The Breast Cancer Support Group based in Johar Bahru are a very lively and active group.  They arrange talks, outings, education and awareness.  In this credit crunch age, two of their activities are very pertinent:  they organise monthly sessions on Sewing and also on Cooking.  http://www.freewebs.com/bcss_sgt/

Do send more details of activities abroad.


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