Wednesday 24th June 2015
Mac Voice, the magazine for Macmillan professionals: Summer 2015
The Cancer Education, Information and Support Service in Buckinghamshire on running a successful day for people to participate in their recovery
Health and well-being events are education and information days that enable people living with cancer and their families to take control and participate in their recovery. They are one part of the Recovery Package: a series of interventions which, when delivered together, can greatly improve outcomes for people affected by cancer.
Following a ‘bite-sized’ training session from Macmillan on how to set up a health and well-being event, a working group came together to develop plans for one at the Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust.
The working party consisted of 14 professionals: three members of our Cancer Education, Information and Support Team, three Macmillan clinical nurse specialists (CNSs), a Macmillan dietitian, a Macmillan principal clinical psychologist, a trainee clinical psychologist, a Macmillan Citizens Advice Bureau outreach worker, a Macmillan development manager, two volunteers and a patient representative. Nine one-hour planning meetings took place between June and November 2014.
We had a budget of £1,500 from Macmillan for the venue and refreshments. Over 3,000 invitations were sent out, via GP surgeries, leaflet drops and invitations from CNSs to their patients.
On the day
The event was held last November at Stoke Mandeville Stadium, Aylesbury with over 80 patients, relatives, carers and friends attending.
A programme of informative talks ran in parallel with the fantastic market place, which hosted forty stands. Stallholders included Macmillan services and a range of external services, including beauty advice from Look Good, Feel Better; physical activity and nature organisations like Simply Walk and the National Trust; health charities such as Lymphoma Association and Diabetes UK; and support groups such as the Lavender Girls gynaeoncology group and BreastFriends. The day also featured tai chi and complementary therapies.
We had a great team of helpers, including people affected by cancer, volunteers and a local secondary school student studying event management.
Value for attendees
Attendees were entered into a free raffle (with prizes donated by stallholders) on receipt of their completed evaluation form. We received 53 forms in total.
The talks were fully booked on the day. More than 90% of attendees evaluated them as excellent to good and 100% of attendees to the market place evaluated it as excellent to good.
One attendee wrote: ‘The seminars were really excellent, wished I’d signed up for more.’ Another wrote: ‘Lots of advice, exactly what we needed.’
Benefits for stallholders
This event was an excellent networking opportunity for stallholders. The majority (95%) said their overall experience was excellent to good and 100% would return if a similar event was held.
One stallholder said it was, ‘the perfect opportunity to make direct contact with cancer support groups and wider voluntary and community groups.’
Although this successful event was a first for us, we have learnt from this experience. If we hold a similar event in the future, we can use this experience, and the feedback from visitors and participants, to develop these events and make them more successful.
Sandy Barnett (pictured second right above)
Macmillan Cancer Education, Information, Support and Acute Oncology Coordinator
Stoke Mandeville Hospital, Buckinghamshire