Signposting your individuals to a challenging event


Goals are an effective way to maintain focus, measure progress and to provide a positive challenge for individuals living with and beyond a cancer diagnosis. Goals could also be completing events such as the 5km parkrun…

parkrun is a free, weekly, 5km timed run which takes place in pleasant parkland surroundings. There are currently 47,555 events across 348 locations in the UK with 748,921 runners taking part. This event is a fantastic goal for individuals from your projects to complete. It is safe, fun, challenging and provides a huge sense of achievement and a massive confidence boost.

Michelle is 35 years old and was diagnosed with cancer where she went through chemotherapy treatment for a year. She is part of the Macmillan Berkshire Well-Being Team who signposted her to a parkrun in Maidenhead. The Well-being team had been concentrating on regaining her confidence, muscle strength and energy levels. They set her a goal of running the Maidenhead Park Run. She had walked the route hundreds of times with her dog Eddie but had not run it for 2 years.

I was super proud when I completed my first Park Run in Maidenhead. On the Saturday morning as usual we were up early for swimming lessons and footie training but the kids said ‘Mum we want to come and run with you… Can Eddie come too?’ That’s the dog, ‘we can ask I suppose, lets print you some numbers’ I replied, so off we went.

Off to the start line, full of conversation and nerves 5km… 3.16miles… they said, wow lets see if I make it back before dark! I look around and I see other families, lots of bright colours, some people had all the gear and people like me…a mum… a dog owner… even a dad with a buggy its not cold but I’m shaking with anticipation lets do this and off we go.

It’s two laps of a water way, an area I’ve walked with Eddie a million times but wow did it feel longer. The kids are running off, Kevin is chatting away and I see people smiling and having fun. The front runners were obviously no where to be seen, but I had my little pace and I was sticking to it. Come on Michelle I said we can do this! It’s the second lap and people have over taken me and I too have over taken them but every time I got a ‘good morning’ or a ‘looking good’ big smiles from me. I had a little walk run thing going on now and I was nearly at the end 35 minutes had passed and I was on the home straight, there was one thing keeping me going and that was the offer of a free coffee from Kevin at the pub!

We had finished and in the pub Michelle…Me… a 35 year old lady who was diagnosed with Cancer and pumped with poison for a year had done 5km YES 3.16 miles all in one go a distance I hadn’t done for nearly two years, I had a feeling of success, achievement and so proud of my families support. My Saturdays were about to get better!

If you want to find out more information about these events and where they take place please click on the link here

Flagship Living Well Active project launched in Dorset for people living with cancer

More than 200 people attended the Big Living Well Discovery Day at Bournemouth University on Friday 17 July, for the launch of Dorset Living Well Active.

Funded by a partnership between Macmillan Cancer Support and Sport England, Dorset Living Well Active is one of six flagship pilot projects nationwide aimed at supporting people to live well with and beyond their cancer diagnosis, through being physically active.

Layne Hamerston, Director of Living Well Active based at Bournemouth University explained: “We know that exercise has an incredibly positive impact on recovery from cancer and can not only reduce the risk of recurrence, but also helps to manage some of the side effects of treatment such as swelling, fatigue or anxiety. We’re now working with over 36 different delivery sites across Dorset who between them offer a range of activities and support services, making it easier than ever for people affected by cancer to become active, and access support locally.

“Macmillan’s research shows that 1.6 million people currently living with cancer are not active at recommended levels. We need to help people change their mindset so that they can just start to move confidently, and in ways they enjoy to help them keep momentum. This project is centred around being physically active – whether it’s going to the gym, cycling, health walks, nordic walking or even gardening – but aside from the physical benefits, the friendship and camaraderie makes it fantastic for psychological health and wellbeing too. It really can make you feel good.”

Over 100 local people affected by cancer attended the event, which formed part of Bournemouth University’s Festival of Learning 2015. Attendees took part in taster sessions and activities, hearing from experts on exercise, diet and nutrition, a Macmillan Clinical Psychologist, as well as having the chance to ask questions of an expert panel.

Rosa Adams from Wool brought her own experience of life beyond diagnosis and treatment. She enthused about Living Well Active saying; “It’s really good to help people to be active, and I think we need to get more GPs on board with referring to programmes like this. It has a knock on effect, just like if you start smiling you feel happy. If you start doing exercise, the better you feel and the more you want to do. It’s getting you out of the house, meeting people, being part of the world again and you also get that sense of achievement.”

dorset 3Membership to Living Well Active is free and available to anyone affected by cancer in Dorset over the age of 18.
The service supports members to ‘improve their potential to live well’ with information on a selected network of physical activity providers, support groups and health and wellbeing related organisations who are mindful and considerate of cancer and the side effects of treatment. The specific exercise referral programmes recommended by Living Well Active are all staffed by level four cancer and exercise rehabilitation instructors.

dorset table tennisThere are also regular free discovery talks and events on a range of subjects, giving members a better understanding of how they can take personal steps to improve their quality of life.

Referrals are welcome from GPs, health professionals and clinicians on behalf of patients, as well as individuals self referring.

For more information and/or to register as a Living Well Active member, please contact the Living Well Active support team on 01202 426 588 or visit

If you’re affected by cancer and need information or support, call 0808 808 00 00 or visit

Knowledge Exchange Workshops

This knowledge exchange workshop, held on 3 June in Sheffield and 25 June in Wales, provided a forum for the project leads and service development teams to discuss their marketing service requirements. It addressed the challenges projects faced with healthcare professionals referring in and provided tips and tactics tools for the future.

The workshop brought some new perspectives about the variation in local services and the crossover with other Macmillan services including the recovery package that is already encouraging innovation in the sector. There was also much discussion about support involving Macmillan Development Managers and their role of in terms of their efforts to ensure service development support to projects.

kew2The workshop started with a national update from the team on our new project lead guide and our branded Macmillan questionnaire which is now available to download on Teamspace. A sports update was provided with information on an exciting new ‘No Strings’ pilot with Badminton National Governing Body of Sport. Information was provided on our ‘Ask, advise, act’ webinar training sessions and the abstracts of the feasibility study were shared.

One of the main themes of the workshop was gathering information on what the attendees thought should be included in the marketing toolkit. Suggestions included new case studies, social media guidance, videos and evidence based presentations. This provoked a good discussion in the breakout groups which had a combination of project leads, service development teams, academics and other experts. Later, after some scene setting presentations, there were more group discussions to identify ways of improving marketing for projects helped by contributions on the challenges.

One theme that came up several times was ideas around making improvements to referrals from GPs there were some signs of improvement across projects. There were already positive changes in the way that healthcare professionals were already trying to engage with the projects. The team provided updates on the development of training for Healthcare Professionals and digital support for behaviour change through our BMJ module access code and learnzone.kew4

The attendees fed back that the main benefit of the workshop was that it improved their understanding of the work that the physical activity team do and understanding of the contributions that different types of organisations make to successful projects, and the challenges that each faces in doing so.

The host project presentations brought knowledge of the needs and requirements of project leads, along with current activities on offer and approaches to the physical activity behavior change care pathway. Each host presentation was concluded with a powerful service user journey, we heard Dot and Denton’s journey in Sheffield and Angela’s inspirational journey in Wales.

During the workshop participants worked together to understand the future challenges faced by projects, and looked at how marketing may be used to overcome these issues.

kew1The workshop aimed to achieve the following outcomes:

  • Create a knowledge hub where resources, tools and information can be accessed and shared.
  • Facilitate networking opportunities for those with a role in running and supporting Physical Activity projects for people living with and beyond Cancer.
  • Supporting those working at local level to access the latest research and information.
  • Network and work together to solve some of the challenges projects might be facing.

A link to the other programmes discussed and tools can be found through the links below:

Referral tactics tool -The referral tactics tool for identifying what tactic to use to increase referrals and resources to support it are at the link below.

Please get in touch if you would like to host an event and to let us know what topics you would like to see covered at future events, we will be incorporating your feedback into future events to ensure they meet your needs.

Please keep sending through your case studies which we will feature on our new Physical Activity blog and Newsletter and please keep following us on @MacMoveMore to see what’s going on.

The next two available workshops are:

– Scotland TBC

– Lincolnshire on Thursday 19th November

To get a better understanding of the information shared, take a look at the presentation slides:

 Physical Activity In Wales June 2015 – FINAL

Marketing presentation

South East Wales presentation

Sheffield presentation

Swansea presentation

North Wales presentation.pptx

To book your place please contact

Cancer Care Team Signs Up for Big Charity Walk

charity walk photo

Members of the Macmillan therapy team at Singleton Hospital, joined by family and friends, patients and health other colleagues, will form a 33-strong team in the 18th Gower Macmarathon on September 12.

“We provide exercise and physical activity support to people affected by cancer at all stages of the cancer journey. Our team relies on investment from Macmillan Cancer Support, so we wanted to give something back. We usually host coffee mornings but because our service is all about physical activity we wanted to do something a little more active this year.” said advanced practitioner occupational therapist Wendy Wilkinson.

“We are really excited about walking the Macmarathon because it reinforces the message that people with cancer can really benefit from exercise. Not all of our patients are able to walk the Macmarathon distance, but we provide a range of options from gentle circuits classes to t’ai chi and relaxation”.

We want to wish the team the best of luck for the 12th September!

Delivery of very brief advice on physical activity: online sessions

NICE recommends that healthcare professionals deliver very brief advice (less than 2 minutes) to motivate people to make lifestyle changes. This time can be used to raise awareness and assess a person’s willingness to engage in further discussion about physical activity.

We’ve developed an online Webex session on how to deliver very brief advice on physical activity to people living with cancer. It’s the first training session of its kind in the UK and will provide attendees with an up-to-date summary of the evidence of the positive impact of physical activity for people living with cancer and a framework for the delivery of advice within 2 minutes.

Join us for one of the sessions taking place on Wednesday 15th July or Wednesday 22nd July  from 10–11am, 12–1pm and 5–6pm.

We’ll send you a link to Webex, which is accessible online, and you’ll need speakers or headphones to listen in. All participants will receive a pedometer for taking part (while stocks last).

Email us at your name and preferred time slot to book your place, or get in touch with any questions.

Janie Hall Move More Glasgow participant, motivator, walk leader and gentle movement instructor

Here is Janie- 3rd in from the left, doing what Janie does best- Motivating, Socialising and making people smile.

Janie was first diagnosed with Breast Cancer in 1994 she had lumpectomy, radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

In Janie’s words this is what was available to her then:


“Everyone was fussing around me, suggesting I stay in bed and rest. I felt very isolated and there was very limited support available. I had the usual fears that everyone has after a diagnosis but I am a very positive person and tried to look forward”

Janie decided to get active and took up running, attended fitness classes and circuit classes, and continued to do so for 17 years prior to second diagnosis. Janie also went onto become a running coach and coached right up until 2 days before her op for secondary cancer.


Janie’s second diagnosis came in 2011 her cancer returned in the same breast and this time she had to have a mastectomy and reconstruction. In Janie’s words this is what was available to her in 2011:

“The doctor commented on how well I recovered said had it not been for my fitness my recovery would have without a doubt been longer. I knew what I had to do, I wanted to get up as soon as possible and regain my fitness. The problem was I didn’t feel as confident to go back to my usual exercise routine and worried about where I would go from there”

Janie had seen a poster in a Health Centre in Maryhill about an exercise class for people who had breast cancer. Janie decided to go along to the Kelvinhall class.

“Circuits are self-disciplined and you work at a level suited to yourself, and it’s so inspiring to watch people who have never exercised come along and work hard and progress each week knowing without Circuits these ladies would have never thought of exercising. Things have moved on from years ago when it was support groups to speak of cancer and how you feel, where now it’s about moving on from cancer and the exercise is a huge bonus in that”

“The instructors were marvellous, motivated, great personalities and also installed confidence back into people to help them get active”


Since completing the programme, Janie has successfully trained as a motivator, walk leader and more recently qualified as a gentle movement instructor.

Janie collected over £2000 for Macmillan when she walked the distance of the West Highland Way with 3 other previous participants/motivators.

Janie is a huge asset to Move More; her attitude, enthusiasm and motivation for life and for helping others is both infectious and inspiring.

Macmillan Enhanced cancer Recovery Swimathon


A group of people affected by cancer overcame the physical consequences of cancer and completed a walking marathon in water. This ‘swimathon’ came about because there was discussion about bringing a team together to participate in the annual Macmillan Gower Macmarathon.

There are a large percentage of our cancer rehabilitation participants who felt that they wanted to be involved. They wanted to raise money for Macmillan, raise the profile of the cancer rehabilitation services offered by the Macmillan Therapy Team based in the South West Wales Cancer Centre at Singleton Hospital, and challenge themselves to undertake a significant personal achievement. But 22 miles cross-country was not a realistic goal for some.

The hydrotherapy group came up with the idea to walk the marathon as a team, in water. Their efforts pushed personal boundaries, exceeded expectations, and raised £1330.00 for Macmillan.

The ABMU Health Board Macmillan Therapy Team have successfully engaged with people affected by cancer  in their treatment programmes, encouraging individuals to take responsibility for managing their symptoms by taking part in activities specific to their individual needs, such as swimming and Tai Chi.

The programme goals have been to try and streamline the pathway from rehab back into personal preferences for local physical activity as a means of restoring normal, supporting sustained behaviour change through enjoyment and creating maintainable routines.

The scenic ‘Macmarathon’ involves walking 14 miles along the beautiful coastal paths and stunning beaches of the Gower Coastline. It’s a unique way to celebrate and remember loved ones affected by cancer, while taking on your own personal challenge. Find out more here here.

Amazing Health and Wellbeing Event Held in Accrington


People affected by cancer across East Lancashire sampled a wide range of free activities and therapy sessions at a health and wellbeing event at Accrington Town Hall. The event was organised by Carers Link Lancashire, in partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support.

Rebecca Hodgson, Adult Carers Manager, Carers Link Lancashire, said:

“The event aimed to raise awareness of the support and services available to carers people affected by cancer across East Lancashire. It gave people the chanceto try their hand at a variety of free activities and therapy sessions, and learn some new information and skills that they could take away with them”.

Naz Usman, Macmillan Service User Involvement an
Insight Co-Ordinator, added:

“This event gave people affected by cancer, and their carers the opportunity to learn about the personal and practical support available to them in their local community. There was information about local support groups, staying active during and after treatment and also the chance to talk about any concerns or worries they may have”.

The event included demonstrations of exercises for people affected by cancer, health checks and information and advice on a wide variety of support that’s available in the local area. Other activities included tai chi, reiki massages and acupuncture, as well as healthy eating tips and tricks on how to make nutritional smoothies and dips. Representatives from the Macmillan Cancer Improvement Partnership in East Lancashire and Blackburn with Darwen also provided information on the pioneering programme to provide better care and support for cancer patients in the area, from the moment of diagnosis to beyond treatment.