Health and Well Being
With increasing numbers of people living with and beyond cancer, there is a greater focus on providing patients and their families with the support they need to live as normal a life as possible for as long as possible.
In this section we provide details and links to some local resources to support people who wish to improve their general health and well being and to manage the impact of illness. Some of the resources are designed particularly for people affected by cancer whilst others are suitable for anyone with a long term health condition.
The list is not designed to be comprehensive but will hopefully offer some useful pointers.
Support after treatment
EPP (Education Programmes for Patients) Cymru
Local courses and events
Macmillan cancer support courses
Macmillan cancer support learning resources
Support after treatment
Cancer services recognise the importance of helping patients manage the move from active treatment to resuming as normal a life as possible.
Here in North Wales there are a number of sources of support that aim to help patients by giving them the information and confidence they may need to manage the impact of cancer.
Below are details of resources provided in partnership with our local cancer services.
‘Get The Support You Need’ events
Cancer services in North Wales, in partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support run regular health and well being events at community venues across North Wales.
These half-day events (10.00am – 1.00pm) are free and open to anyone affected by cancer but may be particularly useful for people who have recently completed their primary treatment.
The Health and Wellbeing clinics are run by healthcare professionals and are designed to be relaxed and enjoyable. They offer a wide range of information and support to help patients and their families manage the effects of cancer and to improve the quality of everyday life, both during and after treatment – or simply an opportunity for a chat with someone who understands how you may be feeling.
Refreshments are provided.
There will be a chance to talk to health professionals and other advisors about:
• diet, physical activity and lifestyle
• the possible long-term side effects of treatment
• welfare benefits and other financial support
• local services, facilities and other opportunities available
Details of forthcoming Health and Well Being Events are included in our listing of Upcoming Events.
To book your place or for more information, please ask a member of your healthcare team or contact the Macmillan Health and Wellbeing Team:
01745 445 214
Moving Forward (Breast Cancer, North Wales)
‘Moving Forward’ is a programme of information workshops for people as they move forward from treatment for breast cancer. They are run in partnership with Breast Cancer Care Cymru and separate programmes are organised by the breast cancer clinical nurse specialists in Ysbyty Glan Clwyd and Ysbyty Gwynedd.
The Moving Forward programme takes place over four weeks and aims to provide information and support on various topics including:
- Exercise and Lymphoedema
- Cancer Fatigue
- Understanding breast cancer treatments and managing ongoing side effects
- Coping with menopausal symptoms
General information about the Moving Forward’ programme can be found on the Breast Cancer Care website where you will also be able to access details of forthcoming courses in North Wales.
You will need to book and confirm your availability for the four week programme. For more information, please ask your breast cancer clinical nurse specialist or contact:
029 2023 4078
EPP (Education Programmes for Patients) Cymru
EPP courses in your community
EPP Cymru offers free health and well being courses for people living with any long term condition or caring role. The courses provide an opportunity for people to learn new coping skills which can help improve the quality of daily life.
The courses are run in community settings across North Wales. Groups of 10 – 16 patients who may have a variety of different conditions meet over six weekly sessions of 2 ½ hours per week. Each session looks at ways to help manage the effects of a long term condition including:
- Managing symptoms such as pain and tiredness
- Dealing with anger, fear and frustration
- Coping with anxiety
- Eating healthily
- Learning to relax
- Family relationships
- Planning for the future
The course does not provide any treatment information but aims to give people the confidence to manage their own care, whilst also encouraging them to work in partnership with health and social care professionals. EPP Cymru provides an opportunity to share skills and experiences with people who have to deal with similar challenges.
To find details of a course in your area please contact:
Free online EPP self-management courses
The online EPP course is an internet-based, interactive self-management course to help people learn to manage the day-to-day issues associated with living with any long-term condition(s) which you can complete in the comfort of your own home.
The Online Course can be particularly useful for those who have difficulty getting out of the house, live in rural areas, work full time or in full time education or who would prefer to do the course online rather than face-to-face.
A user name and email address allows course participants to log on to the course remotely, 2-3 times per week, for a total of 2 hours each week. The course lasts 6 weeks and participants can access the course at anytime and anywhere there is internet access.
More information about this online course can be obtained using EPP contact details above.
Mindfulness-based courses have been running for people with cancer in North Wales since 2001. The 8 week courses are offered free to participants and are funded by the Alaw Endowment Charity. The courses are usually held in the Bangor area. Course participants do not have to live in Gwynedd or Ynys Mon to access the course. People from further afield in the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board areas are very welcome, as long as the distance and times of the sessions are manageable and as long as they and the mindfulness teacher agree it is a good time for them to take the course.
Mindfulness is a way of learning to become aware of the present moment. This offers opportunities to enjoy life more, and to relate to challenges and difficulties a bit differently. There is evidence that Mindfulness reduces levels of anxiety and depression, improves sleep, and increases levels of wellbeing in people with cancer.
The programme is led by mindfulness teachers, experienced and trained in mindfulness and cancer. It runs for 8 weeks and classes last for 2 ½ hours each. Group sizes vary from 10-15 people, sometimes less but never more. In addition to the weekly class, participants need to commit to at least 30 minute a day home practice, using recorded practices to guide them. Everyday short practices are also learned and practiced. This is an important aspect of the course and those who manage most of the home practice get a lot of benefit from the course. There is lots of support available and a good evidence base that mindfulness practice helps people with cancer manage anxiety, enjoy life more, and feel more optimistic.
A mindfulness course is best taken after the end of your primary treatment. It tends to be too arduous for people to manage treatment and come to a programme as well. However many people choose to attend a course quite soon after they have finished, as this can be a challenging time, and having tools to put in place, such as mindfulness, to support their well being can be a really helpful move. The programme is available to anyone who has had cancer, however long ago. It is offered to people at every stage of their illness, as long as they are well enough to attend classes. Anyone interested in coming onto a course needs to tell their doctor or specialist nurse, or make direct contact with the teacher (see below). They will then be sent information to read, and can discuss things over the phone. It will be necessary to arrange a one to one meeting shortly before the start of the course, to ensure that you are well prepared and know what to expect, understand the importance of committing to the home practice, and ensure that it is a good time to be taking the course.
Currently mindfulness courses for people with cancer are only offered once a year in North Wales. They are held after Easter. However, monthly taster sessions are available for those interested in finding out more about mindfulness. These offer simple brief practices to learn and take away.
For more information please contact:
Trish Bartley firstname.lastname@example.org
01758 721 236
Local Courses and Events
At any one time there will be a wide range of opportunities across North Wales to attend local Health and Wellbeing events, sign up for specific health related courses or simply become involved in new activities to improve your health and emotional wellbeing. Below are a couple of suggestions for finding out what is available in your area:
Voluntary services have a wealth of local information – walking groups, gardening clubs, Tai Chi classes etc. Simply get in touch and staff will be willing to help.
Contact details can be found in our section on Voluntary Services.
NHS Direct Wales has an online facility to find information on a range of national and local health and wellbeing organisations, including contact details and information about services offered. Simply type in your postcode to find out what is happening in your area;
Macmillan Cancer Support Courses
Macmillan Cancer Support runs free courses and workshops which offer a way to meet new people, share thoughts and ideas with others who have had similar experiences and build confidence by developing new skills and knowledge.
Macmillan courses on request
It may be possible to request a particular course in your area if there are sufficient numbers of people who wish to attend (approx 12). Your Group will need to provide a suitable venue, but courses are otherwise provided free of charge.
Additional course titles run by Macmillan Cancer Support for people affected by cancer include:
- Buddying and Befriending
- Talking to Children
- Listening and Responding
- Cancer Awareness
- Supporting Loss, Dying and Bereavement (2 day course)
- Self Management
For more information about all Macmillan courses in Wales please contact:
Team Administrator Macmillan Cancer Support
1 Oldfield Road
01656 867 960
Macmillan Cancer Support Learning Resources
Macmillan Cancer Support has a wide range of free online learning resources for cancer patients and cancer health professionals. They provide information on many aspects of managing the impact of living with cancer:
For more details please visit the Macmillan ‘Learn Zone’