YMCA Move Forward with Cancer Referral Programme

Moving Forward News Item Angela Walters

Thanks to Macmillan Cancer Support funding, an exercise programme aimed at improving life expectancy of people diagnosed with cancer will now benefit local people in Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre for a further twelve months.

The free 14 week fitness programme, Moving Forward, was initially launched last year for patients who had been recently diagnosed with either breast or colorectal cancer.

Now the programme has been extended for patients living with cancer in any part of their body and also for people diagnosed with cancer up to five years ago.

Jez Such, Macmillan Development Manager for Lancashire said:

“We know that physical activity can deliver significant benefits for everyone on their cancer journey and at all stages, from diagnosis to after treatment. The Moving Forward programme offers a tailored physical activity plan for cancer patients in the local area and we know will support patients with their recovery.”

By participating in the programme and becoming more active, individuals are more likely to feel less tired and experience improvements in their mood and quality of life while maintaining a healthy weight and level of fitness.

Delivered by YMCA Fylde Coast in partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support, Fylde and Wyre CCG and Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation, patients can now also refer themselves onto the Moving Forward programme as well as through their GP or Health Professional.

Angela Walters Quote

Angela Walters, 56 (pictured above) is one of YMCA first participants to complete the programme at YMCA Poulton Health and Fitness Centre.

Prior to joining the programme Angela experienced a significant drop in energy levels and her confidence suffered during her cancer journey.

Angela, 56, admits that her chemotherapy knocked her for six. She needed her strength back and wanted more of her old self back too. So when her doctor explained about the new ‘Moving Forward’ scheme on offer for free, she wanted to give it a go. She now urges people who are eligible to join the programme.

“It will help you grow stronger. I didn’t think I could do it, but I have. My programme is complete now, but I have carried on my membership at the YMCA. It means that I am not moping around at home.”

YMCA’s Tony Eardley is one of few cancer-rehabilitation officers in the North West. He explained how the new programme will work on the Fylde Coast:

“The 12 month funding has enabled us to extend the free programme out to people currently living with any type of cancer and those who have been through a cancer journey in the last 5 years. Patients can now refer themselves to the programme or be referred by a GP or Health Professional.

“All participants complete an initial assessment with me and can bring a family member of friend with them to this appointment for support.”

People currently living with cancer are encouraged to start the programme while undergoing medical treatment for the cancer, however it can be postponed to whenever the individual feels comfortable.

Tony continued: “Following the initial assessment I will devise a tailor-made exercise programme for the participant to follow for the 14 weeks. This will take into consideration the individual’s fitness level and ability and will also include a wide variety of activities according to the participant’s preferences including walking, gym sessions, swimming and Pilates / Yoga sessions.”

For more information and to refer online please visit ymcayactive.org/moving-forward


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