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Tuesday May 18th 2004

The Bristol Cancer Help Centre this week invites people to sign up for it�s most exciting and exotic cycle challenge ever taking place from 6th �16th January 2005. The route has been designed especially for Bristol Cancer Help Centre participants and will take them from Ho Chi Minh City - the dynamic heart of Vietnam, to the magical kingdom of Cambodia, ending with sunset over the world famous Angkor Wat temple complex, home to hundreds of exquisitely carved ruins.

�We are inviting people interested to register now to allow themselves enough time to train, and to raise the �2,500 funds in aid of the charity needed to qualify.� explains community and events fundraiser Danny Burke adding:-

�This is going to be the trip of a lifetime - taking through a beautiful landscape with an opportunity to see Ho Chi Minh City, rural brilliant green paddy fields, the Cu Chi Tunnels used by Vietnamese resistance fighters, the spectacular Black Lady Mountain on the border of Cambodia, the famous Mekong river, the floating houses of Koki, the beautiful Silver Pagoda of Phnom Phen, Tonle Sap Lake - the largest freshwater lake in South East Asia, a UNESCO biosphere reserve, and finally to cycle through the shade of fig trees to arrive at the awe inspiring Angkor Temples.�.

The charity incorporates it�s holistic ethos to supporting people fundraising through challenge events. Bristol Cancer Help Centre�s sports events co-ordinator Caroline Barnard helps challenge event participants to train healthily, giving advice and support on fitness and nutrition to help them train safely and meet their personal fitness goals.

Stephen Ryan a veteran of the charity�s last London-Paris cycle challenge says:

�My advice to anyone thinking about signing up for the Vietnam-Angkor Wat Cycle Challenge is to contact Danny at the Centre, find out more, and then make the commitment that you are going to train and raise the funds and do it. �Sure you might get a bit tired or have a few muscle twinges on the way � the same as you would down the gym - but you will meet a great bunch of people who you would never otherwise have met � you�ll share the highs and the lows, and the incredible excitement and elation of arriving at your destination� it was a very emotional experience when we all cycled down the Champs Elysees.�Doing a cycle challenge for this charity raises thousands and really helps a lot of people who are coping with a much harder situation than you. All of the Bristol Cancer Help Centre team are in it together � everyone�s got a common cause � we got great support and encouragement from the Centre staff and I�m very glad I did it.�

Sports Events Co-ordinator Caroline Barnard adds

�I am always so proud of the dedication shown by busy working people to raising funds and training to take part in challenge events in aid of the Bristol Cancer Help Centre. I am very committed to helping people to train safely, gradually building up stamina and fitness and learning about nutrition and hydration, so that they can really enjoy the event they have worked so hard towards. That�s what the Bristol Approach to health is all about.�

Charity Chief Executive Christopher Head concludes:-

�Everyone reacts differently to the news they have cancer, but common reactions can include shock, anger, grief and an overwhelming and terrifying sense of losing control. So we are here to help both people diagnosed and also their families and loved ones too with support for mind, body and spirit.

�The Bristol Approach to cancer care offers gentle complementary therapies like massage, practical advice on nutrition and teaches self-help techniques like relaxation and visualisation. This works hand in hand with people�s medical treatment giving very practical tools to help cope with the stress, anxiety and fear that diagnosis and treatment can bring.

�As a groundbreaking charity it is appropriate we are blazing a new trail with the new Vietnam-Angkor Wat Cycle Challenge. Please sign up for the adventure of a lifetime and help us to help more people affected by cancer.�

As an independent charity receiving no statutory funding the Bristol Cancer Help Centre relies on fundraising such as the Abseil to be able to continue it�s vital work.

  • National Telephone Helpline on 0845 123 23 10 responding to over 11, 000 calls a year for information and support from people affected by cancer � 25% of all enquiries to the Helpline are from the South West.
  • Cancerpoint programme offering support through one-to-one appointments with the charity�s experienced and qualified team of complementary therapists including nutritional and massage therapists and counsellors. This support is available regardless of ability to pay to people affected by cancer in the Bristol, Somerset and Wiltshire area.
  • Residential two and five day courses run by the charity�s team of doctors, nurses and complementary therapists, offering complementary therapies such as massage, practical advice on nutrition and teaching self-help techniques including relaxation and visualisation. 20% of last year�s course participants were from the South West.

Notes to editors

  1. The Bristol Cancer Help Centre was founded in 1980 by the late Penny Brohn a woman living with cancer, and her great friend Pat Pilkington MBE to support people living with cancer and those close to them.
  2. It is the UK's leading holistic cancer charity that has pioneered and specialises in the world famous Bristol Approach to cancer care that provides a unique range of physical, emotional and spiritual support to help people to deal with the challenges a cancer diagnosis brings.
  3. The charity offers information and support through Bristol Approach two day and Bristol Retreat five day residential courses at the Centre providing people affected by cancer with a unique programme combining complementary therapies, self-help techniques, practical advice on nutrition, and emotional support. A range of follow up courses are also available.
  4. The charity's Cancerpoint service enables people affected by cancer in the Bristol area, Somerset and Wiltshire to access individual appointments with the Centre's therapy team.
  5. The Bristol Approach works hand in hand with conventional medical treatment, and has been developed and is delivered by the charity's experienced multidisciplinary team of doctors, nurses and complementary therapists.
  6. The charity also works to integrate a holistic approach into mainstream cancer services, and to develop good practice in the field of complementary cancer care, with over 500 training places a year for health professionals and complementary therapists a year, in using the Bristol Approach in their work to support people with cancer.
  7. For information and support contact the Bristol Cancer Help Centre National Telephone Helpline on 0845 123 23 10 email helpline@bristolcancerhelp.org or log onto www.bristolcancerhelp.org.

"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.