Self Help and Support Groups
CancerHelp is happy to host cancer support groups at either of its two cancer support centres. Currently however they all meet at the Charity’s Vine House Cancer Support Centre in Ribbleton. Some meet during the day and others early evening.
Patients and carers attending support groups say that being amongst others who can readily identify with them is a positive experience. For many people being part of a support group helps them as they can talk to others in a similar position. Having contact with other patients and carers who had their cancer diagnosis and treatment some time ago can be helpful for people who have not long been diagnosed, as they can see that there is life after cancer which can be very reassuring. Many support group members are happy to share with others how they have managed some of the effects of their cancer and its treatment, or adjusted to their their diet and changed energy levels.
Each of the Groups organise themselves – some have a clear programme of events that is written a long time in advance, whilst other Groups take each meeting as it comes. So whilst the Team here at CancerHelp are not usually in attendance at the meetings, we are around should anyone have any questions or want to know more about what we do and how they can access our services.
The aims of the self-help groups are generally to offer support in the many different ways that it is needed including:
- offering advice, patient to patient or carer to carer
- offering friendship and providing some social activity that may simply be coming out to join the Groups although many of them arrange trips out and activities for their members
- helping improve the quality of life of their members through friendship and social support
For some people just knowing that there is a support group there should they need it at some point is enough. For others who are not able to attend the meetings because of work or other commitments, all of the Groups are happy to have a chat over the telephone to answer questions and signpost to information or services that have been helpful.