East Cheshire Hospice's first cohort of Live Well Feel Well group - East Cheshire Hospice

East Cheshire Hospice’s first cohort of Live Well Feel Well group

Live Well Feel Well – an appropriate name for the newest support group set up by East Cheshire Hospice.

Seven cancer patients attended the inaugural six-week course at the charity’s Sunflower Wellbeing Centre.

Among them was Anita Kidd, who was diagnosed with a rare form of lung cancer in March 2020.

Anita said: “We are all at different stages of our various types of cancer. We’ve also undergone various treatments from surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and research trials.

“The group on our course talked through difficult conversations, including planning for the future and how they want to plan funerals.

“This includes pre-booking them and leaving very clear instructions, to take the pressure off family members.

“We even talked about having a wake for friends and relatives to attend and enjoy while we are still alive and can be part of it.

The Live Well Feel Well group with staff from East Cheshire Hospice. From left, Sunflower Wellbeing Centre manager Helen Henshaw; staff nurse Joan-Marie Williams; John Mayer, Sue Horobin, Anita Kidd, Graham Crewe, Sunflower clinical co-ordinator Tracey Pearce and staff nurse Victoria Sayers.

“The course was about giving us strategies to cope. The weekly themes included exercise and how to look and feel good. We also talked about managing fatigue and perceptions of cancer.

“The course is also about building peer support, so those in similar situations can talk. We’ve now set up a WhatsApp group and will meet up again.

“The group was about safe spaces, support to live well with cancer and enjoying returning to work, hobbies and making memories.”

Anita’s cancer is adenoid cystic carcinoma of the trachea, which means she has limited options for treatment. Thanks to research she is undergoing targeted drug therapy.

She said: “The Sunflower Wellbeing Centre is so pro-active. It’s safe, supports you and can signpost you. They have amazing facilities, with complementary therapy services, including arts and counselling.

“These courses show the Hospice in a different light, bringing together groups of people to feel safe and valued.

“We had conversations we wouldn’t have with our partners. It is also about recognising that some days are just bad days and you’re not the only one having a bad day, but that’s also okay.”

“Part of our feedback to the Hospice is that it would be useful to have a space there for a drop-in session to catch up.”

The second six-week Live Well Feel Well course is under way for anyone with a life-limiting illness.

Participants can self-refer, or be referred by a health care professional. Sessions are between 1.30 and 4 pm on Thursdays.

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