Health and Wellbeing Events

Attending health and wellbeing events are proving to be a fantastic way for services to increase referrals and make new contacts with healthcare professionals and create new support group contacts.

Recently the Macmillan Active Manchester service were invited to a series of Health
and Wellbeing events including an upper GI support group meeting, a head and neck wellbeing event and a cancer experience forum event. All of these events provided the opportunity to meet people who had been affected by cancer and to increase awareness of the support that is available when the treatment finishes. These meetings resulted in three new referrals, two new clinical nurse specialist contacts and three new cancer support group contacts.

Ambokile Bell, project lead from Active Manchester said,

“The health and wellbeing events provide the perfect opportunity for our service to network with health care professionals, various community services and meet new service users. The sessions are an informal setting to provide advice and support to all on moving more, the event coordinators  allowed us to distribute project leaflets and move more resources at the event which has resulted in an increase of self referrals. We have now produced an annual calendar of well being events and allocated project ambassadors who are able to give a powerful message of their journey through the project. ”

The Get Active Feel Good service in Shropshire also attended a Health and Wellbeing day for Sarcoma patients which provided the opportunity to make contact and network with a population who they previously had no contact with.

Kim Davies from Get Active Feel Good Shropshire said,

“At this event Get Active Feel Good was able to give a 20 minute presentation where we discussed getting patients back into various sports and deliver Move More packs, DVDs and marketing leaflets. The event also enabled us to meet new clinical nurse specialists from a different trust and make new contacts with physiotherapists, nutritionists, complementary therapists and other charities. The Boots team were also present to provide referrals and signpost. This event will be an annual event in our calendar and we are looking at attending a regular support group to deliver very brief advice”.

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

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.

Cancer Prevention Week

This week has been dubbed ‘Cancer Prevention Week’ by the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF). On their website they have extensive information on lifestyle changes that all contribute to lowering the risk of developing cancer including; Moving more, staying in shape, eating more plant food, drinking less alcohol and many more. You can learn about them all here. Alongside this they have produced a video highlighting some simple lifestyle changes we can all make to better our health and reduce our cancer-risk. Watch it below and share it amongst your friends, family and colleagues to spread the message.

Dorset Living Well Active is now live!

We are excited to announce that The Dorset Living Well Active Project new website is now live , providing a ‘shopfront’ for the activities, events, learning and support opportunities on offer. Once a person living with cancer has registered as a member on the site they are able to view a dedicated activity/service information page. There will also be news, events and testimonials which will be promoted through the site and social media. Watch this space for developments on the project!

Do you use online tools to help you get yourself or other people moving more and aware of the benefits to physical activity? Tweet us @Macmovemore we’d love to see what like minded individuals are doing.

Northern Ireland Workshops

Macmillan logoOn 2nd December 2014, Macmillan facilitated a Physical Activity Workshop at the Dunsilly Hotel in Antrim, Northern Ireland. The purpose of the workshop was to highlight progress to date in Northern Ireland in relation to Cancer and Physical Activity, to outline Macmillan’s strategic direction in relation to Cancer and Physical Activity, and to ascertain the views and opinions of key stakeholders. It is important to spread the physical activity and cancer message throughout the UK and Northern Ireland has so much positive activity in the coming year to look out for. Feedback from the workshop includes:

“Very good workshop. Needs to be run every year”

“Well presented, good opportunity for networking, and vital links with Macmillan staff”

“It’s great to get everyone together and to contribute on how we can evolve the work in partnership”

Further information about physical activity and cancer can be found here: and you can email the team at


Presenting at the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences annual conference

Recently our Shropshire project representatives Kim Davies (Get Active Feel Good Advisor) and Gareth Mapp (Director of Lifestyle Fitness) presented a poster of the programme titled ‘Get Active Feel Good embedding physical activity intervention support within cancer care pathways’ at the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES) annual Conference in St Georges Park. Click on the poster below to open it in a new window and again to enlarge it and learn more about the integration of physical activity into cancer care pathways. It’s worth a read!

BASES presentation poster

Why we’re getting sporty

Physical Activity can have huge health benefits for people with cancer. So to encourage more people to get active, we’ve teamed up with Sport England to fund a new project called Get Healthy, Get into Sport.

One of the project’s ambassadors is Jonathan Deakin, who’s been a personal trainer for 18 years and was recently diagnosed with a brain tumour. In his role, he advises other people living with cancer about being physically active at levels that are right for them.

Jonathan says, ‘As the project ambassador, I hope to be able to pass on my experience of how exercise can be beneficial. I’m in the unique position of being able to appreciate the patient’s viewpoint.

‘I’ve always been extremely active and throughout my treatment I continued to exercise, albeit not as much. I feel that the combination of daily exercise like walking, together with a balanced strength training programme really helped me.

‘I may not be exercising at the same intensity but I’m still feeling all the benefits, such as improved energy levels, mental alertness and better sleep. Even if you haven’t exercised much before, I cannot emphasise enough how beneficial it can be for people with cancer.

‘Physical Activity has been a huge factor in managing my disease. Every time I walk into the gym or play tennis it feels like a victory over the brain tumour.’

To find out more about how we’re helping people with cancer get active, visit