Macmillan has teamed up with the Manchester Community Giants and Sport England to help people affected by cancer in Manchester stay active and healthy. Under the ‘Macmillan Active Manchester’ project, people affected by cancer will be able to access free activity sessions, some of which will be led by the Giants themselves. The sessions will take place across Greater Manchester at leisure centres, community halls, outdoors in parks and the Manchester Giants venue.
A large turnout of key stakeholders, healthcare professionals and local business representatives were all in attendance at the launch on Friday 27 March. The sunny morning and the breathtaking backdrop of the grounds at Wythenshawe Park proved a great opportunity for the launch activities to take place.
Guest speakers included Macmillan Development Manager Jez Such, Ambo Bell and Steffan Gill from the Giants and Project Ambassadors Jonathan Deakin and Champion Tommy Stott. Tommy and Jonathan both gave an insight into their role as champions and the benefits of the project for people affected by cancer.
The launch included tea, speeches and a walk around the park with the Macmillan Connected Wythenshawe Walkers. All who turned up signed a pledge card of support towards the project. Steffan Gill from the Giants ensured attendees got to experience some of the activities on offer in the project including chair based arm rotations.
Under the ‘Macmillan Active Manchester’ project, people affected by cancer will be able to access free activity sessions, some of which will be led by the Giants themselves, including rising star Stefan Gill who is backing the initiative after two family members were diagnosed with cancer.
Manchester is one of six areas in the UK to pilot the design, implementation and evaluation of a physical activity pathway for patients living with and beyond cancer, following growing evidence of the positive impact of exercise on recovery.
Stefan said: ‘I have a very personal interest in this project as I have family members who have cancer. The mental and physical strength people with cancer have is so commendable, anything I can do to help is an honour. My aim is to help ease physical ailments and improve mental well-being through exercise and mobility.’
The activity sessions will take place across Greater Manchester at leisure centres, community halls, outdoors in parks and the Manchester Giants venue.
After an initial consultation with one of the project’s qualified trainers, people living with cancer will be matched to an activity which suits their physical abilities and interests, either as part of a group or on a one-to-one basis.With funding from Sport England, the project is being delivered by Macmillan Cancer Support and Manchester Community Giants with support from Public Health Manchester and Manchester City Council who have opened up their leisure facilities to people affected by cancer.
Jeremy Such, Macmillan Development Manager, said: ‘We know that exercise has an incredibly positive impact on recovery from cancer and can not only reduce the risk of dying or the cancer coming back, but also help to manage some of the devastating side effects of treatment such as swelling, fatigue or anxiety. However, our research shows that currently 1.6 million of the two million people currently living with cancer are not active at recommended levels. This needs to change.’
To sign up for an activity session or for more information on the scheme visit http://www.macmillanactivemanchester.com