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Help is out there for Hartlepool people with cancer

Val Evens Macmillan centre advisor. Picture by FRANK REID
Val Evens Macmillan centre advisor. Picture by FRANK REID

A double boost is available for cancer patients in Hartlepool - and it is available immediately.

The West View Advice and Resource Centre runs a support group which is so popular, it has just increased its meetings from fortnightly to weekly.

It is for people who want to do exercise but they are frightened it will be too much for them. At the end of the session, there is a cup of tea and cake. It is all about the social side of it

Val Evens

And a second group, called Positive Movers, is offering an exercise class for people with cancer at the same venue.

Both are ready to accept new members straight away and Val Evens, Macmillan Centre Manager, urged people with cancer to come forward.

* The support group is an informal get-together on a Tuesday morning from 10.30am. Val said: “It’s a cup of tea and a chat, nothing official. It is a group of people in similar circumstances, giving each other support.

“The group was meeting fortnightly but the people in the group asked us ‘can we do this weekly?’”

Members organise it themselves but a Macmillan member of staff is always on hand if needed.

Val added: “It started in April and it regularly gets 10-12 people.”

Anyone with a cancer diagnosis is welcome and they can bring a friend or partner along as well.

Sessions are very relaxed, filled with positivity and laughter and offer a chance to chat to others in a similar position, said Val.

One group member described it as “a lifeline” while another said “‘I’d be lost without the group.”

* The Positive Movers group meets on a Monday from 11am. It offers exercise sessions which are tailored around the needs of the people in the class.

Val said it was for people who “want to do exercise but they are frightened it will be too much for them.

“At the end of the session, there is a cup of tea and cake. It is all about the social side of it.”

Officials say that being active can be an important part of recovery during and after cancer treatment and can help to strengthen muscles, bones and joints and improve overall wellbeing.

The sessions are designed to be fun, low-level activity sessions which people will feel able to join in with whatever their fitness level - and it takes into account any side effects of medical treatments.

Funding for Positive Movers has been secured until the end of next March. Each session is free and includes refreshments.

There’s no need to book, and interested people can just come along. They are also welcome to bring along a friend or family member.

Anyone wanting more details should contact the centre on (01429) 271294.

Alternatively, they can also find out more at the West View Advice and Resource Centre Facebook page, or on the website at http://www.wvarc30.org.uk.