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ACTivate Your Life - Affected By Cancer

Activate Volunteers

We are really excited to announce that today we launched our brand new service ACTivate Your Life – Affected By Cancer, a new free four-week course to help people affected by cancer who are struggling with mental health issues.

ACTivate Your Life – Affected By Cancer is based on the highly-regarded ‘acceptance and commitment therapy’ and builds on a course developed by Professor Neil Frude, a clinical psychologist with more than 40 years’ experience.

Delivered over four, weekly, two-hour long sessions the course teaches participants; how the mind works, how reactions may be making life more difficult, how to be mindful and make ‘wise decisions’ and how to face issues and learn do the things you want to.

We have recruited 17 volunteers to deliver the course, with the first ACTivate Your Life - Affected By Cancer sessions taking place in Canolfan Beulah, Pantbach Road, Cardiff, CF14 6AX between 1pm and 4pm on Tuesday 20th March, before being held in further locations across Wales.

Tom Dyer, ACTivate Your Life - Affected By Cancer lead at Tenovus Cancer Care, said: “The new ACTivate Your Life course will allow us to reach more people in the community who are struggling with issues such as depression, anxiety, low self-confidence or lack of motivation as a result of being affected by cancer.

“We’ve recruited some brilliant volunteers to deliver the sessions, some of whom have previously completely the ACTivate Your Life course through the NHS.

“The course is free and it’s lecture-based, so participants don’t have to worry about sharing their story or speaking in front of a group of their peers, which is often a source of anxiety for people with mental health issues.”

Wayne John, 60, from Swansea, was diagnosed with bowel cancer three years ago.

“I had radiotherapy, chemotherapy and major surgery which all went smoothly. I was like the local hero; people could not believe how well I looked considering I had cancer. I went to work every day after my radiotherapy and chemotherapy and after the surgery I was back in work within 10 days. But about 18 months after surgery my mental health went downhill very quickly.

“In work simple tasks were taking me longer than they would normally, a spreadsheet that would have a taken me 20 minutes took me four hours. I took a day off work because I really felt I needed it but I was awake at 4am. I went out for a walk with the dog but when I got back home I just lay on the floor and cried. I’d done so well during my cancer but I was carrying that burden around with me and it finally all came out. I knew I would not be able to go back to work.

“I started looking for help but I was struggling to find medication that worked for me because I had issues as a result of my surgery. I was steered towards the ACTivate Your Life course within the NHS and of all the things I tried I found it to be the most powerful and useful. It taught me how to support myself and manage my thoughts.

Anyone directly or indirectly affected by cancer can join the ACTivate Your Life - Affected By Cancer course. If you are interested in participating in a course in your area click here or email tom.dyer@tenovuscancercare.org.uk for more information.