Annette Smith with her friends

Jul 10th 2015

Cancer patients gathered with friends and family at the hottest summer event

Cancer Services at Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust hosted their fourth annual Cancer Wellbeing Event at The Hawthorns on Sunday 5th July. The event was created to provide access to wellbeing therapies, advice and information for 150 local people, and their carers, who are living with or beyond a cancer diagnosis.

Every person who was invited to the event attended, which meant that all 300 places were sold out, making it one of the hottest tickets in town.

The event included a two-course lunch and a range of wellbeing activities including pamper therapies, relaxation techniques, Tai Chi and meditation. A host of local cancer support organisations ran stalls to offer personalised wellbeing guidance and support to those in attendance. Cancer Services Manager Jenny Donovan said: “We all know the benefits of positive wellbeing both in terms of supporting recovery and in improving general health and this unique event aims to offer patients and their carers the opportunity to sample these all under one roof.”

“Patients (and their carers) leave feeling more positive, with a better understanding of the benefits of good wellbeing and what it means to them, and we also hope they will have made some new friends along the way.”

As well as the food and stalls, the attendees of the event were treated to some live entertainment from local artists. Banghra dancers and the brass band proved to be hits amongst the crowds as well as the local band ‘The Toads’.

The event was opened by West Bromwich Albion Legend Brendon Batson OBE and has given the local community a chance to pull together and support those who have been affected by cancer at some point in their lives. Brendon remarked: “This event continues to be a partnership between ourselves, our patients, and the local cancer wellbeing community.”

“We recognise that our patients have been through so much, this is an opportunity for us all to come together to share and celebrate their journeys whether they are still in treatment or living with or beyond a cancer diagnosis” Jenny added.

This event continues the good work that the team has been doing throughout the year to help those in the community looking for support as Ian Charles from the Cancer Team explains. He said: “Fundraising has been ongoing all year with over £11,000 being raised to help fund the event.

“It is great to see months of planning and hard work come together and a wonderful sense of achievement when you walk around the fair and see patients and their carers laughing and smiling, or thoroughly immersed in an activity they have never tried before like floristry or laughter yoga.”

Mrs Annette Smith – after attending the floristry workshop, said: “First time I have been, the event is very friendly and so organised. Staff are all very accommodating. It’s a good laugh. All sessions were well planned. I have been smiling since I came through the door.”

Patient David Roadknight, added: “Today was really good fun. Staff are all very jolly. They help me to take my mind off problems.”

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