A Chatburn woman determined to make a difference has set up the Ribble Valley’s only breast cancer support group.
Mother-of-three Alison Waller (50) decided to do so after working with patients whilst volunteering her skills as a reflexologist at Pendleside Hospice at Reedley, near Burnley.
Alison had noticed that the patients she was working with who had taken up the option of attending support groups in the Burnley and Pendle areas seemed more empowered and able to deal with their individual circumstances.
She was surprised to learn that there was no similar support network available in the Ribble Valley.
Alison said: “I came into contact with many different people with breast cancer who were at a variety of different stages in their treatment, from those who had only recently been diagnosed to those living with the after effects.
“Receiving support from people in the same situation is so beneficial to those who feel alone or are finding it hard to cope, and it also relieves pressure on families if others who understand are on hand to talk.”
Figures show breast cancer now affects 1 in 12 people in the UK and, as a result, the age at which mammograms are offered is likely to soon be lowered to women over 47 from the current age of 50.
The support group will meet on Mondays at Grindleton Pavilion and will include regular talks from volunteers on a range of subjects, including relaxation techniques and emotional wellbeing.
Alison continued: “We really want to emphasise that the group can be attended on a drop-in basis by anyone who has been touched by breast cancer at any point in their lives.
“People are welcome to attend every week, but also on an ad hoc basis whenever suits them.”
Ribble Valley Breast Friends will meet at Grindleton Pavilion each Monday from 1 to 3 pm, with the first meeting taking place on Monday, May 12th.
A fundraiser coffee and cake morning and official launch of the group will be held on Saturday, April 26th, from 10 am to noon and everyone is welcome.