New Wandsworth scheme aims to help locals with cancer get active in 2017
The programme, called Move More Wandsworth, is a new initiative set up by Macmillan Cancer Support and Enable Leisure and Culture. The scheme aims to help people living with cancer in the borough benefit from physical activity as a part of a healthy lifestyle, involving one-to-one sessions to create individually-tailored activity programme.
Move More Wandsworth is part of Macmillan Cancer Support’s national campaign to ensure that people living with cancer are supported to become physically active, both before, during and after their treatment. A growing body of evidence shows it can play a vital role preventing and managing some of the effects of treatment, such as fatigue, depression and risks to heart health. It can also help people living with cancer take back control and feel more like their old selves.
Owen Carter, Macmillan GP for Wandsworth says: “As New Year is the time for resolutions and aims for the future, we want local people living with or beyond cancer to make a pledge and get more active in 2017. Our new programme is designed to help people facing the disease to become and stay active at a level that’s right for them; whether that’s doing some gardening, joining a walking group, or joining a ‘get back into sport’ programme during or after treatment.
“It doesn’t have to be a big change. Every step counts and small increases in physical activity, like walking to the bus stop, can have a big impact on your health. This is about providing opportunities for people to get moving more in a way that suits them, fits within their lifestyle and is enjoyable.”
Mary George, aged 52 from Merton, is a keen advocate of Macmillan’s Move More – having used her passion for netball to help her recovery after being diagnosed with lung cancer in 2015. She said: “Being told I had lung cancer was a huge shock. I don’t smoke, I’m not a drinker and I’ve always been quite an active person. I’ve always loved netball, so – when I was told I needed surgery to have part of my lung removed – I was devastated to hear that I’d probably not be able to play again.
“After my surgery, I went into my shell. I felt very inactive and sorry for myself. I couldn’t get up and move around, and I would talk myself out of activity because I felt vulnerable. My family and the Macmillan nurses were very supportive and they all encouraged me to do little things to move around a bit more, but it’s programme’s like Move More Wandsworth that really help you get your confidence back that much faster.”
Now, more than a year since Mary’s diagnosis, she is playing netball again and is organising a netball event in Battersea to raise money for charity. She added: “Now I feel like I have my life back again. It’s not just about the exercise, but also about the social side being part of a team. Of course, the exercise helps; my surgeon even told me that – had I not been so fit and had such good lung capacity – I might not have been able to have the surgery that saved my life.”
Professor Jane Maher, Joint Chief Medical Officer at Macmillan Cancer Support said: “Taking part in physical activity can play a vital role for all people affected by cancer, whether they are in the middle of treatment or on the road to recovery. Recent research suggests that physical activity may reduce the likelihood of dying from cancer and may help prevent a recurrence; it can also help manage some of the often life-changing side effects people experience from treatment.
“Macmillan Cancer Support wants to see physical activity play a much more prominent role during both treatment and recovery, and it is great to see that people affected by cancer in Wandsworth now have the opportunity to benefit.”
To take part in the new scheme, or to find out more, please contact Beth Brown, Macmillan Move More Coordinator for Move More Wandsworth on 020 8871 6756 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For information and advice about getting active, call 0808 808 00 00 or visit macmillan.org.uk/physicalactivity