On the 4th November Macmillan Cancer Support and One YMCA celebrated the official launch of a county-wide service that aims to help people living with cancer get active.
Since January this year Macmillan has worked with One YMCA to deliver the Move More West Herts programme across its Watford, St Albans and Abbots Langley sites. From 2016, the service will be expanding into East and North Hertfordshire, working with Finesse Leisure, Stevenage Leisure and Broxbourne Leisure trusts to deliver a county-wide programme.
Rukshana Kapasi, Senior Development Manager for the East of England at Macmillan Cancer Support says:
“Macmillan’s Move More campaign promotes physical activity as a real ‘wonder drug’ that can reap huge physical, mental and emotional benefits for people living with cancer, so we’re thrilled that we’ll soon be able to offer the programme to even more patients across the county.
“Move More is designed to help people with cancer to become and stay active at a level that’s right for them; whether that’s gardening, joining a walking group, joining a ‘get back into sport’ programme like badminton or more traditional supervised gym-based programmes. This is about providing opportunities for people to get moving in a way that fits within their lifestyle and is also enjoyable.”
Jill Wood, 76, from St Albans, enjoyed playing and umpiring a variety of sports before she was diagnosed with colon cancer in November 2014. Jill suffered from increasing levels of fatigue as a result of her treatment, but after successful surgery she was determined to get back to her active and healthy lifestyle. Following an initial assessment, Jill was supported by the Move More West Herts team to begin her rehabilitation:
“I was surprised that someone of my advancing years was offered the great opportunity of such personal fitness care and attention. Having got over the initial apprehension, with my instructor’s care, guidance and encouragement I embarked on my fitness course. I cannot thank the service enough for their help, care and kindness. It was a wonderful experience and I intend to continue to exercise at their St Albans health club.”
Guy Foxell, Chief Executive of One YMCA added:
“The YMCA has been bringing affordable fitness to people through our friendly community gyms, and now this partnership with Macmillan helps us improve the health and wellbeing of some of those who need it most. It’s great for One YMCA to be part of such a thriving referral pathway for those living with and beyond cancer – and seeing the difference physical activity can make on mind, body and spirit.”
Jim McManus, Director of Public Health at Hertfordshire County Council, also expressed his support for the programme:
“My mantra is ‘everybody active, every single day’. This service is really important because the earlier you get people into physical activity, the better they cope with their cancer. My personal reason for supporting this is because in my own cancer journey, physical activity helped me to get out of bed, get back to the gym, and rebuild my body. Had I not had that, I would have given up and I would have found it much more difficult. I speak from experience when I say that I think this is a great programme.”