For immediate release
November 18th 2004
On Wednesday 17th November 2004, people with cancer, complementary therapists and charity staff members celebrated the third birthday of the Bristol Cancer Help Centres groundbreaking Cancerpoint? programme.
Through Cancerpoint, the charity makes its world-famous Bristol Approach to cancer care - offering physical, emotional and spiritual support for the whole person, accessible to people in the West Region. 2,500 one to one booked appointments a year with the Centres experienced therapy team are available to people with cancer and their supporters in the Avon, Somerset, Wiltshire and South Gloucestershire area. Appointments are available at a subsidised and confidential donation rate making them accessible to all.
Cancerpoint allows people affected by cancer in the West Region to access a range of supportive therapies from the Bristol Cancer Help Centres expert team including: nutritional therapy, massage, shiatsu, aromatherapy massage, counselling, in addition to the creative therapies of art and music therapy. Cancerpoint also goes out into areas of high health need into the community for example a relaxation group run in Knowle West is led by the Centres aromatherapy massage therapist Jenni Britton to help teach calming self-help techniques.
At the event charity chief executive Christopher Head announced two important new developments to the Cancerpoint service to improve support available from the Centre to people in the West Country:-
The inspirational founder of Walk the Walk Worldwide (the health charity that enters teams of power-walking women in decorated bras in marathons worldwide to raise funds for cancer care and cancer research) Ms Nina Barough, then spoke about why she was so delighted that Walk the Walk was the major funder of Cancerpoint
When I was diagnosed in 1996 I went into abject panic. I can remember asking my consultant what I could do to help myself, but he couldnt suggest anything. For someone used to being in control it felt awful - I was like a ship without a rudder.
When I walked through the door of the Bristol Cancer Help Centre, I knew that this was where I needed to be. I realised I could delay, and prepare myself for my medical treatment, and in the nine weeks that followed I got fit, had a fabulous diet, and with all the help from the Centre, I felt very focused, and able to go through what I had to. Cancer is a terrible thing to experience, but what Bristol Cancer Help Centre did was to remind me of all the tools I had within me to handle this situation. For all the people who visit the Centre - you never leave as you came here. You discover things about yourself: things youd forgotten, or things you didnt know. This place is so very special.
Once I had recovered, it was in my heart to raise money as a charity Walk the Walk is very committed to the Centre, you see the difference you make here by raising money - it is tangible.. This the third birthday of Cancerpoint is a very important day for Bristol Cancer Help Centre, for Walk the Walk and for me personally. Because nowhere more than Cancerpoint can you see that difference that funds Walk the Walk has raised make to peoples lives.
Cancerpoint user Meena Reetoraz-Yeomans of Bristol, age 29 then told her story of how using Cancerpoint had helped her following her medical treatment of surgery,chemotherapy and radiotherapy:
I was only 27 when my breast cancer was diagnosed. It came as a huge shock to me as I am sure it does to everyone. I felt frustrated and angry why did it have to happen to me at such a young age? I practically lived at Bristol Cancer Help Centre for the past few years I would like to thank the shiatsu massage therapists, Diana and Mercedes, aromatherapy massage therapist Jenni and counsellor Diana: - youve all been incredible.
Staff at the Centre helped me to realise that I am a creative person, and I recently went on a writing course at the Centre. I have now got together with a close friend Jules, and - with our theatre company Honeylicious we are creating a play about what it like to be a young woman in your 20s or 30s going through breast cancer.
It can be very isolating having breast cancer - so I wanted to reach out to other women in this situation through the play. It will be put on at the Invention Arts Centre in Bath in May 2005 I hope you will all come and see it.
CEO Chris Head thanked other funders: the Henry Smith Charity, the Aim Foundation, the DOly Carte Trust, the Good Neighbours Trust, and the Norman Family Trust - he concluded:
We launched Cancerpoint? to allow people in the West Country to experience the Bristol Approach to cancer care. Through an initial free assessment service, our therapy team can help people affected by cancer to find out what will benefit them most: whether it be nutritional advice, massage, or counselling. A programme of support is put together that is tailored to peoples individual needs. People can also learn how to help reduce their stress levels by learning calming self-help techniques such as relaxation and meditation.
Most importantly subsidised and confidential donation rates for therapy sessions for those on low incomes, mean that this service is accessible to all. And people can book as many Cancerpoint appointments as they need to support them through their cancer, and help them make changes to their diet and lifestyle. Cancerpoint is available to families partners and close friends too - as we know that they too need help: both for themselves, and to better support their loved ones.
We are extremely grateful to the Walk the Walk for their generous support as the major funder without their contribution, it would not be possible for the Centre to run this vital service.
For further information about Bristol Cancer Help Centre please contact Clare Benjamin, Communications Manager on tel: 0117 980 9515 or email: email@example.com And log onto www.bristolcancerhelp.org
Notes to editors
"It has been a great satisfaction to me to see how strongly the approach pioneered at Bristol has influenced the development and improvement of cancer services all over Britain."
HRH The Prince of Wales
Patron of the Bristol Cancer Help Centre.