Macmillan Active Manchester Launch

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



Move More Glasgow visit

At the end of March members of the Macmillan Physical Activity team visited the Move More project in Scotland. Physical Activity Integration Manager Sarah Worbey, Physical Activity Manager for Sporting Opportunities Rhian Horlock and Northern Ireland Physical Activity Manager Diarmaid McAuley met up with Project Manager, Margaret Greer.

Move More Scotland is a Macmillan initiative designed to help people living with cancer in Scotland to remain active, both throughout their treatment and afterwards. There are four activities to choose from, all designed specifically for people affected by cancer, led or supported by volunteers. There has been huge support for the Move More Scotland programme from external organisations. Working in partnership with local authorities and leisure trusts has allowed Move More Scotland to be delivered within local community venues, sports centres and libraries. Classes and groups are free, accessible and welcoming to all – some can even be attended by carers, family or friends.

We went to see the four physical actvity opportunities on offer startng with the impressive new Macmillan allotment schemes in Bellahouston and Gartnavel. The gardens are run by volunteers who are involved in planning, sowing seeds, planting, growing and generally caring for the gardens. They also offer a cuppa and a listening ear for participants who are affected by cancer, encouraging them to get moving and signposting to other services.The walled garden and grass caterpillars were a delight to see and we were impressed with the accessible layout of the gardens which provide an area of escape, peace and tranquillity. A fundraising team corporate offer resulted in Boots managers getting involved in shaping the Victorian gardens at Provan Hall, weeding, planting the sensory herb wheel, cleaning and painting benches, all tasks identified and managed under the guidance of our lead volunteer Ian.

Next stop was a circuit class in action in the local community. These are delivered by fitness instructors with specialist training in level 4 cancer and rehabilitation. We spoke to the participant at the session who had been involved since December and was thoroughly impressed with the support from the instructor and would like to see more participants attending.

We continued our journey with a stroll around Victoria Park and set off from Whiteinch Library which also hosts a Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Service. It was great to see family and carers attending the Paths for All group as well as new volunteer trained leaders. The walk was low intensity, short and sociable.

Our final destination included observing a gentle movement class at Parkhead library which was at full capacity. Gentle movement classes aligns breath and physical activity with mental and spiritual awareness. It can be practised seated, so is open to people of all ages and abilities.

With circuit classes, gentle movement, gardening and walking groups, the Move More team help participants choose an activity that’s right for them. More information about Move More Glasgow can be found here

Move More East Lancashire and Blackburn

Move More LogoClasses set up to help people with breast cancer in East Lancashire and Blackburn become more active are to be extended, following a successful trial.

The Macmillan Move More Blackburn and East Lancashire programme, which launched in January, is part of The Macmillan Cancer Improvement Partnership – a pioneering initiative to provide better care and support for cancer patients from the moment of diagnosis, through treatment and beyond.

Move More works closely with Blackburn and East Lancashire Breast Care Support Group and together they identified that the group would benefit from the opportunity to attend a regular activity session.

Six pilot activity sessions, specifically for individuals diagnosed with breast cancer, were staged at St Silas Parish Centre in Blackburn, which will now be held every Monday evening from 7pm.

The sessions give people the chance to increase their activity levels and try out different activities such as Tai Chi, Pilates and Gentle Exercise Circuits with support from Blackburn and Darwen council’s HeallthWISE team. Individuals attending the group are at various stages of cancer diagnosis and treatment and the sessions help to find effective and safe ways to be active and stay active, no matter where they are on their cancer journey.

Alison, 53, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014 and has attended the weekly sessions. She said: “The Move More sessions have encouraged me to develop self-confidence and become more active by exercising with a group of people who have been through same experiences as me.’’

Ruth Loft, 68, was 44 when she was first diagnosed with breast cancer and diagnosed a second time 15 years ago. Ruth, who is also the Secretary of Blackburn and East Lancashire Breast Care Support Group and has supported the development of the activity sessions, said: “The Move More sessions provide an excellent variety of exercises and at everyone’s own pace. I feel more flexible and confident!’

And the winner is…

The County-wide sports awards is a resounding success as Get Berkshire Active honour the county’s sporting heroes

Inspiration & Participation Awards honour Berkshire Sporting heroes

Inspiration & Participation Awards honour Berkshire Sporting heroes

Berkshire’s sporting heroes were honoured at Get Berkshire Active’s annual Inspiration & Participation Awards ceremony held on Friday 6th February at the Blue Mountain Golf & Conference Centre, Binfield. The awards ceremony, which was hosted by BBC Radio Berkshire’s Tim Dellor, recognised the contribution local people have made to inspiring others to take up physical activity, as well as individual and team excellence in sport.

Over 250 people including 30 nominees and winners were joined by a host of Special Guests, including Katherine Copeland GB Olympic Gold Medallist (rowing), Sophie Christiansen GB Paralympic Gold Medallist (equestrian), Jack Rutter Captain of England’s Cerebral Palsy Football Team and Lesley Owusu former GB 200m/400m runner. The Mayors of Bracknell Forest, RBWM, Slough and Wokingham were also on hand to present the awards to the winners.

Speaking at the awards, Olympic Gold medallist Katherine Copeland said:

“I am honoured to be at the Berkshire Inspiration & Participation Awards. It’s a real privilege to be part of something that rewards those who dedicate their time to getting others active. It was also a pleasure sharing my own sporting story with all the guests and nominees.”

We would like to congratulate Sandhurst Health Walks whos aim to help people improve their fitness has won them the health project of the year category at the Get Berkshire Active Awards. They have only been going for a year, but now have more than 100 registered walkers, with a core of around 40 striding out every week. The walks are led and organised by a group of dedicated volunteers.

The morning weekday walks, ‘Take it to the Bridge’, start at 09:30 at Sandhurst Community Centre and a shorter walk called ‘Steps to Fitness’ is suitable for those who haven’t partaken in exercise for a long while, have a long-standing health condition, or recovering from treatment. After the walk the group head to Pistachios in the Park for a coffee/tea and a chat.

Co-ordinator Kat Bradshaw says the benefits are enormous with walkers noticing that they feel better; less depressed and have lost weight, while it is also a great way to make new friends.

For further info on the walks please click on the following link