The Sussex Cancer Fund is delighted to support Albion in the Community’s project Brighter Outlook for a second year, (Albion in the Community is the official charity of Brighton & Hove Albion).
Taking part in physical activity during and after cancer treatment can play a huge part in enabling patients to take back control and support recovery. You can read more about our support at Brighter Outlook in our previous blog post but we wanted to give you an update on how Albion in the Community has kept this fantastic project going during the Covid Pandemic.
The Brighter Outlook project was launched in 2015 and offers cancer patients free, specialist support to help them get active, stay active and feel good through cancer and beyond.
The project, which is funded by NHS Brighton & Hove Clinical Commissioning Group and supported by Macmillan, originally focused on people living in Brighton and Hove. However, the Sussex Cancer Fund has provided some additional funding which means, Albion in the Community has been able to offer the support to people in the wider Sussex community.
So the project aims to offer a free prehabilitation and physical activity programme to support anyone with a cancer diagnosis to prepare for, cope better with, and recover more quickly from cancer treatments. There have been 85 new referrals from across Sussex this year so far with 241 referrals from across Sussex in last 12 months.
Albion in the Community delivers a range of activities and support within the Brighter Outlook programme to suit all different levels, to help clients do things they enjoy, and to support people to try new things. Since the Covid pandemic, They have been offering virtual support, which has actually meant that people who wouldn’t otherwise be able to attend classes have been engaging more, and people have found it easier to take part on a more regular basis. Moving forward they will continue to offer virtual support, as well as face to face.
After moving on line they have been running 6 live zoom classes per week including seated classes, yoga and circuits, and started running outdoor circuits classes last summer. They have also created a number of exercise videos for varying levels, and some social wellbeing sessions, some of which with guest speakers such as dieticians, cancer nurses and support group leads. The fact that they have adapted and been resilient to Covid has meant Albion in the Community been able to continue supporting those that really need it during this time.
The programme is designed to help people to feel better physically and mentally, to improve or help manage symptoms such as fatigue, to empower people to take an active role in their cancer care and to improve quality of life through and beyond cancer.
The programme has been very popular with some great results including 78% of participants reporting an improvement in physical health and 60% say their mental/emotional health had improved since taking part.
While these statistics are fantastic news it is always amazing to hear the impact of these programmes on patients themselves. One of the participants had this to say “I’d like to feedback to you how much I am enjoying the sessions and the improvements I can feel as a consequence”
CM’s Case Study
- CM is age 67 and lives in Shoreham
- CM was referred by his cancer care team, via his GP – we had to get the all-clear from his GP as he had cardiac issues
- CM was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma of the tonsils at the end of September 2020
- His treatment is now complete and he has no signs or symptoms
- CM had a very clear plan in his head about his physical fitness goals and wanted to get back to his pre-diagnosis fitness
- Goals to regain MSE and build CV fitness within sensible constraints of his CVD risk and cardiac limitations
- CM now wears a Fitbit and aims to walk 10k steps per day/jogs twice a week for 5k being mindful of his heartrate
- CM comes to BO sessions on Mondays and Thursdays and is enjoying these already feeling the benefits and being very grateful for the support
We are delighted to have helped Albion in the Community deliver this fantastic project and commend them on the high quality service and support they have been providing Cancer patients in Sussex even during these particularly difficult times.