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‘Living beyond Cancer’ programme in County Durham and Darlington

County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust's cancer information and support services will be running a 'living beyond cancer' programme this September for patients who are coming to the end of their cancer treatment across County Durham and Darlington.

The six week programme has been developed with funding from Macmillan Cancer Support and begins on Thursday 13th September . It is aimed at addressing people's needs as they approach the end of their treatment in order to avoid some of the issues that sometimes occur when people feel unable to move on with their lives such as getting back to work, managing changes to diet or coping with fatigue.

As a relatively new course to the area we would welcome people who may have completed their treatment some time ago but not had the opportunity to benefit from such support to come along too.

The programme will take place between 1pm - 3pm at the Pioneering Care Centre, Carers Way, Newton Aycliffe and will focus on:
• healthy lifestyles, including diet, exercise and keeping healthy
• encouraging people to self manage their own health condition
• finance and employment
• psychological and emotional health
• learning relaxation techniques

All sessions will be delivered by relevant experienced professionals from across County Durham and Darlington Foundation Trust and the Hospices, and supported by Macmillan information and support staff from the Trust.

A previous participant said on completion of the course: "I have thoroughly enjoyed the course and feel much more self-confident about my future. I feel that I am in a good place with lots to look forward to." Another said: "Everybody was very helpful and friendly. I learned a lot about diet and exercise."

Andrea Elsbury, Health Improvement Specialist said; "We would encourage anyone who has been affected by cancer to come along for the chance to meet staff and fellow group members for a supportive, interesting and engaging programme which I'm sure they will enjoy." She added, "People with cancer can find they still have some concerns once their treatment is over. We want to support these people at a very important time in their lives to move on positively."

The project is in response to the National Cancer Survivorship Initiative (NCSI) which was outlined in the Cancer Reform Strategy (2007), identifying the need for support for cancer survivors who are growing in numbers and with them bringing a new set of issues and needs.

If you feel you would benefit from attending this course, future ones or you just want to find out a bit more about it, then you're encouraged to telephone the cancer information centres on 0191 333 2815 or 0191 587 4500 for further details, or speak to your specialist nurse.

Published: 22 August 2012

'I feel it is important to relay my experience back to let the staff know they are doing a brilliant job! I would like them to know I appreciated all they did for myself, my family and our beautiful baby girl.'

Patient, Labour Ward, Darlington Memorial Hospital