Volunteers from Age UK Gateshead were fortunate to be offered free training, courtesy of Gateshead Council, alongside health professions representing a wide range of disciplines.
The professionals included the Council’s Health Trainers, Occupational Health Assistants and Occupational Therapists, Social Workers, and Community Development Workers. Others included a GP, Pharmacist Assistant and a support worker from the Alzheimer’s Society. Their experiences, both professionally and personally, were wide ranging and everyone was able to participate fully in this interactive, informative training session in a relaxed way.
The programme, delivered by Cancer Research UK, was jammed full and included the following:
- What is cancer?
- Early diagnosis & survival
- Myths & Facts
- Talk cancer – Is it difficult to have a conversation about cancer?
- Facts about impact on lifestyle and cancer
- Talk cancer – conversations about lifestyle
- Barriers to change
- Signs and symptoms
- Taking responsibility
- Meaningful conversations
- Alternative routes to get help
The facilitators blew away the myths that often clog up our minds while we are trying to comprehend the complexities of this topic, and made us aware of how easy it is for some people to avoid seeking help, while appreciating that not everyone takes the same route to face their fears.
Alongside the facts and evidence about different kinds of cancer we learned how important it is to adopt a healthy lifestyle to reduce the chances of developing the disease. We touched on the impact of excessive alcohol, smoking, exposure to sun, unhealthy eating, lack of exercise and unsafe sex and how to constructively and effectively challenge someone to address these subjects.
Everyone came away armed with clear useful handouts, confident in the knowledge that they can use the newly gained techniques in their workplace.
Evelyn Brown, Cancer Support Advocate, Gateshead Cancer Advocacy