Our physical activity resources

Some of our available resources in action.

Some of our available resources in action.

Macmillan move more resources

The physical activity team has resources to provide those affected by cancer and healthcare professionals with practical advice and tools on how to safely become more physically active during and after treatment. Here’s what Helen Birch, 43 who was diagnosed in 2010 had to say about one of our resources:

“The most beneficial bit was the activity diary that I was given, because I found it really really good to track what you were doing. But by actually writing it down each day, it just helped me stay on track. And it pushed me; it gave me that incentive to get on.”

By using our available tools and information, more people can benefit from physical activity as Helen has done. To hear more about her story click here.

For anyone providing services for people affected by cancer, we recommend our basic cancer awareness course which can be found on the Macmillan Learn Zone alongside many other learning resources. It’s a course that all members of our team have taken and we think you can benefit too.

These resources are available here, simply register and order away!

Keep a look out for more posts introducing specific resources and how best to use them. Happy ordering!

Walking for Health


Enjoying a scenic walk

Enjoying a scenic walk

Walking for Health

Together the Ramblers and Macmillan Cancer Support run Walking for Health, helping people get and stay active. By sharing our walking and health expertise, we support 600 local schemes across England to offer short, free walks. Our aim is to help more people – including those affected by cancer – to discover the joys and health benefits of walking.

The walks are easily accessible, low impact, easy, of short duration and free and you can be confident when recommending your service users to our walks as they are all led by trained volunteers and risk assessed to ensure safety.

Sarah regularly walks with Walking for Health and had this to say, “It has been one of the best things I have ever done, I feel like I have found the real me again. I am healthier, fitter, happier and more confident.”

Many of the physical activity projects we support have already linked in with their local Walking for Health scheme to offer walks as part of your programme.  If you are yet to link up with your local scheme, simply visit walkingforhealth.org.uk and use the postcode finder at the top for details of your local walks and their coordinators. Individuals can turn up to their local walk, or you could discuss the possibility of developing new walks from your project sites with the coordinators.

Outside of England there are similar health walk programmes across the UK: Paths for All in Scotland, Walking for Health in Northern Ireland and Let’s Walk Cymru in Wales. You can find out more by visiting macmillan.org.uk/walkingforhealth.

Remember we’re here to help, so please feel free to contact us on physicalactivity@macmillan.org.uk for more information.

Stepping out against cancer

I love my pedometer. At bedtime, it tells me if I’ve had a good day. So my morning always starts by clipping on my trusty little step counter as I strike out to Macmillan’s UK office in Vauxhall.

I’m lucky. My commute involves a walk, brisk of course, by the majestic River Thames. Lambeth Council has ensured there’s a traffic-free path beside the river. No roaring traffic and fumes for me – just seagulls diving and squawking. It makes my commute to work something to look forward to.

I’m passionate about walking. It is free, you can do it anywhere, you don’t need any special equipment, and the evidence is unequivocal: walking saves lives. That’s why Macmillan works with all the health walk programmes in the UK, and we run Walking for Health in England with our partners the Ramblers.

The first meeting of the day is up the stairs to the 12th floor with my colleague Rhian, who supports Macmillan’s physical activity projects around the country. They are doing fantastic work to help people living with and beyond cancer to overcome the challenges they face getting active. Walking plays a big part in that because it’s popular with so many people.

Next, it’s up to the 14th floor to see Elinor in the marketing department. Elinor has come up with the idea of writing to people with cancer to tell them about their local health walks. Thanks to Macmillan’s wonderful nurses and the respect they inspire, people listen to Macmillan’s advice. So it’s no surprise that the focus groups Elinor has organized with Make Sport Fun tell us a letter from Macmillan about walking will have an impact. Today, we’re working on the guidance leaflet for the pack, incorporating the words and images our groups told us would build their confidence and motivation.

Then we’re off to the Houses of Parliament. It’s only a 15 minute walk. Macmillan is part of the Richmond Group of health charities and together we have launched a new report. The rise in potentially preventable conditions is costing the NHS around £5 billion every year in treatment and management. Wouldn’t it be better to prevent them in the first place by getting the nation active and eating more healthily? Of course! We spoke to MPs, and Dr Lou Atkins outlined the fascinating science of behaviour change. Best of all was the health walk at the end. As we explored the streets and parks around parliament, Macmillan volunteer, Ian Rigby told us his inspiring story. Walking for Health had thrown him a lifeline after his cancer diagnosis. Walkers from Lewisham Health Walks enthusiastically agreed and told us one story after another of how walking had got them back on their feet, out and about, and having a laugh.

Another brilliant day working for Macmillan. And as it clicks over 16,000 steps, the pedometer agrees.

For more info on health walks visit www.macmillan.org.uk/walkingforhealth


Recognition for our Promising Practice

We are delighted to announce that our Physical Activity programme is one of the 36 chosen to feature in the Public Health England promising practice publication ‘Steps to solving inactivity’ as an example of a physical activity intervention currently being delivered in the UK. Our survey submission contributed to the huge response that ukactive received: a total of 952 programmes were submitted making this one of the largest surveys of physical activity programmes in England ever carried out.

“Steps to solving inactivity” examines the latest rates of inactivity in each top tier local authority and provides examples of activity interventions currently being delivered in those local areas.  It seeks to support local authorities, public health professionals and the wider activity sector to strengthen the impact of their physical activity programmes, interventions and services by highlighting existing gaps in provision and sharing guidance on how to achieve best practice at a national level.

The report is available to download from here

A big thank you from the team to everyone involved in the provision of services linked to our programme, as the work you do is vital for acheievements like this.

Richmond Group – Launch of first prevention report focusing on secondary as well as primary prevention.

What an amazing day we all had last week launching the Richmond Group of Charities report to show why prevention must be considered a top priority at the wonderful House of Commons.

MPs including Public Health minister Jane Ellison, Shadow Secretary of Health Andy Burnham, and Lib Dem health spokesperson Paul Burstow addressed the room, providing great support for Physical Activity along with our Richmond Group charity partners. We’ve already seen lots of media coverage as a result on  Health Service Journal, bmj and The Daily Mail . Thanks to everyone involved.

We showed parliament how walking works with representatives from Healthy Walks Lewisham as well as our very own Cancer Voice, Ian Rigby, who all shared stories about how walking has benefited them. We then enjoyed a walk (at moderate intensity) around the streets of Westminster. Read Ian Rigby’s story here

The Richmond Group of Charities is a coalition of 10 of the leading health and social care organisations in the voluntary sector working together as a collective voice to better influence health and social care policy focusing on secondary as well as primary prevention.

You can read the report here which outlines nine key calls to action through which political leaders and key decision-makers can ensure disease prevention is placed at the top of the agenda.