Helping people with breast cancer get active

Published Monday 13 April 2015 at 13:37

Classes set up to help people with breast cancer in East Lancashire and Blackburn become more active are to be extended, following a successful trial.

The Macmillan Move More programme, which launched in January, is part of The Macmillan Cancer Improvement Partnership – a pioneering initiative to provide better care and support for cancer patients from the moment of diagnosis, through treatment and beyond.

Move More works closely with Blackburn and East Lancashire Breast Care Support Group and together they identified that the group would benefit from the opportunity to attend a regular activity session.

Six pilot activity sessions, specifically for individuals diagnosed with breast cancer, were staged at St Silas Parish Centre in Blackburn, which will now be held every Monday evening from 7pm.

The sessions give people the chance to increase their activity levels and try out different activities such as Tai Chi, Pilates and Gentle Exercise Circuits with support from Blackburn and Darwen council’s HeallthWISE team. Individuals attending the group are at various stages of cancer diagnosis and treatment and the sessions help to find effective and safe ways to be active and stay active, no matter where they are on their cancer journey.

Alison, 53, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014 and has attended the weekly sessions. She said:

“The Move More sessions have encouraged me to develop self-confidence and become more active by exercising with a group of people who have been through same experiences as me.’’

Ruth Loft, 68, was 44 when she was first diagnosed with breast cancer and diagnosed a second time 15 years ago. Ruth, who is also the Secretary of Blackburn and East Lancashire Breast Care Support Group and has supported the development of the activity sessions, said:

The Move More sessions provide an excellent variety of exercises and at everyone’s own pace. I feel more flexible and confident!

The sessions also provide individuals with the opportunity to find out more about the benefits of physical activity and access further support to be more active without pressure and in a way that they find most beneficial.

Six sessions of Tai Chi are now also being run, in partnership with the Ribble Valley Breast Friends Group, at Grindleton Pavillion starting on Monday, 20 April 2015.

If you have been diagnosed with breast cancer and would like support to be more active call Beth Sutcliffe on 07872 047684, or visit or find us on facebook at Macmillan Move More East Lancashire and Blackburn with Darwen

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