Our support group was formed to promote the rehabilitation of those suffering from, or who have suffered from head and neck cancer in the catchment area of the Derriford Hospital.
We have come to realise that great benefit is derived by our members, their partners and/or carers when they are given the opportunity to discuss amongst themselves their individual ongoing unique health concerns.
We have also discovered that our members are far more likely to be open and forthright in these discussions if they are away from the formal hospital/medical environment, and in a social and friendly atmosphere.
This will be especially valuable to those living in rural areas of our catchment area because they are more geographically spread out than those residing in the City of Plymouth. That also means of course that some may not attend as many meetings and will not, therefore, meet up so frequently with our other members. We endeavour to provide opportunities to bring our members together on a monthly basis as this will help to promote peer support across our region. And we also help with transportation whenever we can. Not just for meetings but also for run-of-the-mill hospital appointments and the like.
Our support group is specifically aimed at head and neck cancer patients, and their partners and/or carers. Those who assist in patient care, such as Speech & Language Therapists, Clinical Nurse Specialists, and Dieticians, and Cancer Support Workers, etc., are also welcomed.
Due to the nature of this particular disease, especially those with throat cancer, most of our members are of pensionable age.
We try to meet up once a month; one month at The Macmillan Cancer Support Centre at the hospital and the following month would be away.
At the At Home meetings, we invariably seek one or perhaps two, guest speakers from a various range of topics.
At our Away Day meetings, we take a trip somewhere for a picnic or visit a place of interest.
We also issue a comprehensive monthly newsletter by email and by snail mail.
We usually meet up at 10.30 a.m.on the first Wednesday of each calendar month. One month it will probably be at The Mustard Tree Cancer Support Centre and the following month it will be held at an alternative venue.