The sun was truly shining upon us for the second Macmillan Wellbeing Day, hosted by LinkAge’s Macmillan Prevention and Re-enablement project.
The Macmillan Summer Wellbeing Day which took place on Wednesday 14th June, aimed to welcome and support people aged 55+ living with and beyond cancer, and their carers/supporters, to try a variety of fun, creative and physical activities and to also access the variety of fantastic support services that are available across Bristol.
A marketplace of stall holders were present on the day, with the Macmillan Bristol Buddies, Macmillan Cancer Rehabilitation & Support Team, Healthwatch, Penny Brohn UK, Bristol Mental Health, Carers Support Centre, Energise, and the Macmillan Breast Radiotherapy Injury Rehabilitation Service, all showcasing services for those living with and beyond cancer.
There was a great atmosphere at the event, as guests were welcomed upon arrival with a goody bag and refreshments, before settling down for a welcome talk by Macmillan’s Prevention and Re-enablement Project Manager, Sally Crocker. Guests learnt about the benefits associated in engaging in physical activity and how the project can support them into activities.
After a brief welcome and introduction of all stall holders, Alistair MacFarlane, Exercise Referral Manager from Energise, gave a talk on how the quality of life for people affected by cancer, can be improved through taking part in regular exercise. Alistair even brought along a static bike and rowing machine so people could have a go on the day!
The programme of activities for the day started with an enthusiastic choir session led by Rachael Hunt and the Stockwood Happy Notes. Participants were led through a range of songs, with one guest stating how much she “loved the choir and its patience”. This session was followed by Keep Fit, led by fitness instructor Sharon Layton, who shared some energetic but accessible moves that got guests moving across the floor. One guest said, “It was good for my husband to join in the exercises!”
Whilst guests enjoyed a healthy and delicious lunch, Penny Brohn volunteers Jenny and Elspeth spoke about the history and the services and support that Penny Brohn offer. Joanna who ran drop-in clay exploration sessions throughout the day, also spoke about her personal journey and the therapy she found in being creative again.
Chair-based Zumba was a blast; with guests moving in their seats to lively soundtracks, led by Zumba instructor Philomena Connelly. The final session of the day was a calming Tai Chi session. Instructor Frank Pring guided guests through a variety of sequences, that offered a low-impact, gentle and relaxing option of engaging in physical activity.
Amongst the backdrop of activities and stallholders, there was also the option for guests to have a relaxing free massage by complimentary therapists Helena Dawson and Marion Strange, showcasing one of the services that are available at the Bristol NGS Macmillan Wellbeing Centre, Southmead.
It was fantastic to see so many people come together on the day to try new things, meet new people and support each other…
“It was an amazing day, you have helped me so much to move on. Healthy eating, exercise, relaxation”
“A wonderful 100% day of love, care, help and kindness – staff have been outstanding and visitors lovely to talk to. I enjoyed exercises to music and could do a little tai chi. Lunch excellent. All staff have happy, smiling faces and I'm going home walking on air”.
“First time at this event, I thoroughly enjoyed myself, especially taking part in the Zumba, Tai Chi and Keep Fit sessions. Very well organised, good lunch and conversations, helpful tips and information”.
We would like to thank Michelle Bowyer and her team at AXA PPP Healthcare for kindly hosting the Wellbeing Day.
Planning is already taking place for another Macmillan Wellbeing Day in Autumn 2017. So if you would like to register your interest, then please contact the Macmillan team on 0117 353 3042.
If you are interested in any of the activities featured in the Summer Wellbeing Day, please call LinkAge head office on 0117 353 3042, where you can be signposted to an activity nearest to you.