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



Macmillan physical activity team Basketball trip

Last week, thanks to the generosity of the Active Manchester physical activity project, (supported by Macmillan and Sport England) three members of the physical activity team, various project leads, their friends and families, headed to the Copper Box arena at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park to watch the Manchester Giants take on the London Lions. It was a great opportunity to talk all things physical activity whilst also getting to watch some fantastic basketball. Unfortunately the Giants lost narrowly to the Lions with 73 points to their 86. Both teams played extremely well, we are looking forward to meeting some of the players at the Active Manchester launch next week.

The Copper Box is the perfect venue to watch live sport including Basketball, Volleyball, Handball, Netball, Futsal, Cheerleading, Dance and Wheelchair Rugby. Tickets a relatively cheap to watch some great quality sport.

Interestic facts about the Copper Box arena: The facade is covered in 3,000 square meters of sustainably- sourced cooper, its namesake. Crucially, this affordable material does not suffer from atmospheric corrosion, will develop a patina as it ages, requires no cleaning or maintenance and can be recycled again in the future. For further sustainability, the Copper Box has 88 light-pipes incorporated into the roof that draw in natural daylight saving up to 40% on energy costs. It also has a rainwater harvesting system on the roof for use in waste management.

Knowledge exchange workshops


IMG_1151With the festive season upon us and projects in full planning mode for 2015, last week we delivered two Knowledge Exchange Workshops, one in Luton at the Inspire Facility and one in Manchester at the Manchester Giants Basketball Club Training Venue. The events brought together over 50 key stakeholders including Physical Activity Project Leads, Sports Development Officers, Senior Lecturers, Expert Advisors, Physiotherapists, Macmillan Development Managers and Service Users. There were representatives from across the UK in attendance that came from far and wide to hear what the hosts had to say about their exciting projects. The format of the day included a national Physical Activity update, host project update and an opportunity in the afternoon for projects to share their key successes and challenges and lessons learnt along the way.

Workshop attendees got a little extra physical activity as a lunchtime walk was led by our Walking for Health team to the local Chill Factor Snow dome in Manchester and the Luton attendees got free activity vouchers for the pool and gym.

As a result of the workshops we will be creating a knowledge hub where resources, tools and information can be accessed and shared, giving an opportunity to facilitate networking opportunities for those with a role in running and supporting Physical Activity projects for people affected by cancer.

Knowledge exchange workshops are free one day interactive events led by Macmillan’s Physical Activity team across the UK on a quarterly basis. Some of the feedback we have received from workshop included:

“an insightful workshop inspirational speech on exercise benefits for cancer #lifechanging #movemore

“very useful and enjoyable in terms of networking and sharing information”

“The workshop today was marvellous, keep the learning going”

“Fantastic #physicalactivity meeting held today by @MacMoveMore lots of sharing good practice and networking!”

Following the positive feedback from the people who attended the workshop we will be holding additional workshops across the UK on a quarterly basis.  The next two available workshops are Berkshire 11th March 2015 and Sheffield June 2015. Workshops are filled on a first come first served basis so if you are interested in sharing best practise and solutions with like-minded others contact to book a place.