The Cancer Data and Outcomes Conference

The Cancer Data and Outcomes Conference is the most important conference of the year for the Evidence Department and for Macmillan’s evidence agenda. Over recent years, our presence has grown, and this year was bigger than ever for us with three posters being presented on physical activity and cancer. We were able to put more of our evidence in front of commissioners, policy makers, patients and other researchers and Justin Webb from our team along with representatives from CFE research attended to present our posters.

The three posters were titled:

  •     Increasing the frequency of physical activity very brief advice for cancer patients
  •     Macmillan physical activity behaviour change care pathway evaluation
  •     What motivates people with cancer to get active?

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Physical activity care pathway – formative evaluation

Increasing the frequency of physical activity advice

What motivates people with cancer to get active

We are aware that a lot of you get asked or apply to showcase your work at local or national events.

If you are considering applying to present at conferences/events, please do contact the physical activity team first.

We have a number of resources available to support this, where we will also be attending we would like to coordinate presentations to get the most impact.


Professor Kerry Courneya labels Macmillan Move More programme as a world class solution


kerry courneya


Professor Kerry Courneya visited Ulster University last month to deliver two seminars in relation to physical activity and cancer, discussing it’s importance with some of the key stakeholders in Northern Ireland. Professor Courneya is the Canada Research Chair in the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada. He is widely regarded as a world expert in the field of cancer and physical activity with research interests in the outcomes and determinants of physical activity, as well as behaviour change interventions. He is leading a global randomised control trial looking at a one year behaviour change intervention following a diabetes prevention protocol.

Professor Courneya delivered a seminar to academics and researchers entitled “Exercise & cancer outcomes: From observational studies to randomised trials”, where he presented the findings of many research projects which demonstrated an eclectic range of benefits for people living with cancer becoming and remaining active. The following day, Professor Courneya visited the Cancer Centre at Belfast City Hospital where he spoke enthusiastically about “Promoting physical activity in cancer survivors: From research to practice”. Drawing on his experience from working in Canada, Israel, Australia and many other countries throughout the world, Professor Courneya described the Macmillan Physical Activity Behaviour Change Care Pathway as ‘phenomenal’ and ‘world leading’. During his visit, Professor Courneya also took time out to meet with Macmillan’s Physical Activity Lead, Jo Foster, and Physical Activity Manager (Northern Ireland), Diarmaid McAuley. His endorsement of Macmillan’s approach will continue to inspire Macmillan to support people living with and beyond cancer to adopt and sustain an active lifestyle.

Professor Courneya’s visit to Northern Ireland was hosted by Ulster University’s Sport & Exercise Research Institute, the Institute for Nursing & Health Research, and the Belfast Health & Social Care Trust, with the support of Macmillan Cancer Support.


Guest piece: Alex Hamilton

alexI’m Alex, a PhD student at the University of Oxford, studying the effect of sports programmes on the mental health of adolescents in post-conflict countries. This summer, I have been volunteering as a Physical Activity Summer Intern. I have been reviewing future options for how Macmillan can support their behaviour change pathway with telephone and digital technology. It’s been a refreshing change to my usual topic of study, and I’ve had a great opportunity to learn what it’s like to work in a large, charitable organisation.

Macmillan has an excellent team spirit and the office buzzes with industry. People are aware that their efforts directly contribute to improving the lives of people living with cancer, and this feeds into the work ethic. To be part of such an organisation, even for a short time, has been a valuable experience for me. I’ve particularly enjoyed visiting some of the current Sport England funded sites; it is great to see the local variations on the Macmillan PA behaviour change model.

Now it is time for me to head back to Oxford, escape bustling London and begin the dreaded write up of my PhD thesis. There are many long days in libraries ahead. I’ll continue to be in touch with Macmillan and follow their progress in the future. Many thanks to the PA team for being so welcoming and supportive over the last few months!

Move More Aberdeen Hits 100!

move more aberdeen

Move More Aberdeen hit the significant milestone of 100 referrals this September, roughly 9-months after the doors opened to people affected by cancer.  There has been fantastic support locally from NHS health professionals, patient groups, CLAN Cancer Support and Maggies support centres and others. Approximately 70% of these 100 referrals came from health professionals and 30% from self-referrals.

Those who have attended Move More Aberdeen activity groups have gained real benefits such as improved fitness, a speedier return to work, greater confidence and an improved ability to cope with the side-effects of treatment, (both physical and emotional), and people affected by cancer continuing with long-term independent physical activity.

Move More Aberdeen is still in its infancy, and these referrals represent the first shoots of growth for the programme – plenty of feeding, nurturing and pruning needs to be done! (Yes, a garden group as part of the Move More Aberdeen programme will be starting soon!) With continued hard work and support from health care professionals and other partners we hope that Move More Aberdeen will become well rooted and established, growing in strength and capacity to help more people affected by cancer to ‘Get Active and Feel Good’.

Walsall Walk On

walk on logo2

Walsall residents who are battling cancer or are in remission are being offered the chance to go on free health walks that will improve their mood and reduce their stress thanks to a partnership between the local council, NHS and Macmillan Cancer Support.

Walsall Walk On is a weekly programme of free health walks held in parks and countryside spaces across the borough. Each of the health walks is led by a nationally qualified Walk Leader assisted by a qualified Back Marker to ensure the walks are tailored to suit everyone’s speed and ability.

Community activity co-ordinator Stuart Terry said: “Working alongside Macmillan Cancer Support has shown that being active is safe and has lots of benefits to help manage some of the side effects of cancer treatment. As well as meeting people in similar circumstances it also reduces cancer related fatigue, stress and anxiety and improves low mood or depression. For some cancer types physical activity can also lower your risk of the cancer coming back.”

The first walks will take place on Tuesday mornings, in Walsall Arboretum, meeting at the visitors centre at 9:45am for a 10am start.

For more infomation visit the Walking for Health website here

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

Getting Glasgow City Council Staff to Move More

MM glasgow eventA few weeks ago the Move More Glasgow team joined the Glasgow City Council Health Roadshows to tell staff from Glasgow City Council about the physical activity programmes available in their area. As well as having an information stand to tell people about the Move More Glasgow programme (which offers anyone affected by cancer a menu of opportunities to become more active), a health walk was on offer around the streets of Glasgow and one of the Level 4 cancer rehab instructors led a few 15 minute taster sessions.

The staff could gather information about the services for personal use but also to pass onto family, friends, colleagues and clients. In addition to information about Move More there were also representatives from the Macmillan@Glasgow Libraries Information and Support services, Healthy Work Lives and staff could take part in other activities including getting a hand massage and having their cholesterol checked.

Overall this was a great way of telling the staff at Glasgow City Council what is available to them and their clients in Glasgow. By putting on this event it gave council members and influential others a demonstration of the fantastic programme. Events like this can gather support, volunteers and potentially funding opportunities so if it sounds like something your project could benefit from why not plan one?

The team will be joining the health roadshow on their next stop around Glasgow in a few weeks and we look forward to hearing more about how they raise the profile of the Move More Glasgow programme.

Move More

Guest piece: Ian’s story

IanRigbyHomeI was diagnosed with a rectal cancer in 2003 when I was 52 years old, unfortunately the cancer was well advanced and had spread to other parts of my body including the liver. After over a year of treatment including operations, chemo and radiotherapy I returned to my job as a Head teacher. The treatment left me with a colostomy and in a poor physical condition.Before the illness I was very fit, my main teaching subjects were P.E. and science, I ran and played volleyball regularly.Whilst recovering I joined a walking group called “Action for Life” located in the Tandridge area of Surrey. At first I could barely walk a few hundred metres but the leaders were helpful and encouraging and I slowly improved. When I retired from teaching in 2006  I trained as a leader and the group became “Walking for Health”, all the leaders are trained and have first aid knowledge,we are now linked to the Ramblers, YMCA and Macmillan. I lead two walks a week although the programme we offer has a walk nearly every day. All the walks are carefully planned and risk assessed and can be up to 3 miles in length. Walking on a regular basis both prevents and aids recovery from illness but one of the greatest benefits is the social side; several walkers with mental health issues often comment on how it has helped them.We regularly have between twenty and thirty walkers and they all agree it has helped them health wise, socially and in reducing stress. I have always felt that if you think you can do something you probably can! By the way I am back playing volleyball.

Ian Rigby

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.


We are extremely pleased to announce that Tottenham Hotpur Foundation’s Macmillan After Cancer Exercise (ACE) programme reached a milestone this week when the 100th participant was referred on to the 12 week programme, delivered as part of the Club’s commitment to fighting cancer. Run by the Foundation’s specialist cancer rehabilitation instructors, anyone living with and beyond cancer in Haringey or Enfield can easily access the free exercise sessions, available on either a group or one-to-one basis at selected Fusion Leisure Centres.

Differing considerably from typical exercise sessions offered by local gyms, Macmillan ACE gives people affected by cancer the support and motivation to be active, focusing on gentle exercises that promote a steady progression. Through a combination of cycling, walking, circuits, aerobics, zumba and tai-chi to strengthen the body, progress is monitored over a 12 week period where participants are encouraged to reach personal goals.

Zohret was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009. After chemotherapy and radiotherapy she had a mastectomy to remove her left breast. When the cancer came back in her right breast in 2013 she had a second mastectomy, resulting in lots of pain in her arms and feelings of depression. This is Zohret’s story:

“In October 2014 I was referred on to the ACE programme. Initially, I felt self conscious and very shy about the idea of exercising in public. But, when I realised it was doing me some good I began to force myself to go along to my weekly session. I’m now half-way through the programme and I tell everyone about it. Not only do I feel physically and emotionally stronger, I see myself more positively when I look in the mirror.

“The Macmillan ACE programme has given me hope and taught me to accept my body for how it looks after cancer. Not only has it developed my strength but the exercises have given me energy and improved my self confidence. I’m no longer taking anti-depressants and feel much better about myself emotionally.”

In 2011, Anthony was diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer and metastatic spinal cord compression. He was told he would never be able to walk again.

Three and a half years on from his diagnosis he is proud to say that cancer hasn’t beaten him yet, and that he is able to walk short distances. Having joined the Macmillan ACE programme through a referral from his GP, Anthony attended the Enfield sessions at Southbury Leisure Centre. Here he explains how the programme has helped him:

“I am not one for exercising on my own, so it was great to have someone to help me. The ACE programme got me out of the house and back in to some sort of shape and fitness. Not only has it been good for my health, but also my mind, confidence and positivity.

“I have loved every minute of it.”

Grant Cornwell, Chief Executive Officer, Tottenham Hotspur Foundation said,

“At Tottenham Hotspur we are committed to fighting cancer. With one in three people affected by the disease we are proud to use our place at the heart of the community to provide support to those affected by cancer, and their families.”

Since the start of the 2013/14 season, the Club has been helping to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of cancer and promoting the importance of early diagnosis through its support of major NHS campaign, Get to know cancer, which aims to save up to 1,000 lives in London each year through early diagnosis. In the future it would be great to see more footballs clubs following Tottenham Hotspurs fantastic example.

If you live in the Haringey or Enfield area and would like more information about the After Cancer Exercise programme please download a referral form from and take it along to your GP or Cancer specialist nurse.