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LACE: Life After Cancer Essex CIC

At the age of 49 I was diagnosed with stage 3 bladder cancer which has now progressed to stage 4.

After major surgery and spending the next year physically recovering. I was in remission for

approximately 1 year before I sought any help for my emotional wellbeing and started engaging with

a counsellor. Although a great help, I really wanted to talk to other people who were in a similar

position to me. But being able to talk to others was then hindered by the sudden surprise of the

covid pandemic, lockdown, isolation and being in the vulnerable category; services were extremely

limited during this time.

 

Locally in Essex there were a lot of services offering sign posting, form filling, benefits advice,

counselling, therapeutic activities such as massage, reflexology and carers support for people and

their families dealing with cancer. There seemed to be a gap in provision with regards to weekly

social support groups, peer support and the rebuilding of emotional and physical health. LACE was

set up to support people during the covid pandemic, allowing people to still meet outdoors in a safe

environment through a ‘walk and talk’ group.

I initially accessed two local government micro grants to the sum of £1000 and LACE: Life After

Cancer Essex Walk and Talk Group was born, offering weekly walks at secure venues around Essex.

The aim of the group is to offer something different, something 'outdoors' where people can take in

some fresh air, where they can conduct some 'exercise', appreciate the wildlife and plants whilst

walking and talking in a safe environment. The walk and talk group offers a sociable gathering where

people can be with others who have been through similar situations. They are able to talk about

their recovery/treatment, as well as;


 

• Discuss how you are getting through it, and support others

• Share any worries or concerns

• Start getting fit again

• Support good emotional wellbeing

• Provide a supportive listening ear

• Feel passionate about being outdoors and getting some fresh air and sunlight

• Listen to what individuals want to support them

• Be with others who ‘get it’


 

One year later LACE become a Community Interest Company CIC and we were then able to apply for

grants/funding and accept donations. Our first donation was made by The Anderson Foundation for

£20,000 and funding has now been agreed by Macmillan and Active Essex and further support from

RHS Hyde Hall. Because covid continues to still play a big part in our lives, we continue with an

‘outside activity’ to reduce the risk of infection; especially as people are vaulnerable after

chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments. LACE supports anybody affected by cancer and this can

include family members and/or carers.

This money/support is currently being used to offer a weekly program of events throughout 2023.
Our program includes weekly ‘walk and talk group’ at RHS Hyde Hall and Marks Hall Estate, Sailing Barge Cruise
, yoga classes, gong bathing, alpaca walking, zoo visit and much more.

 

To access LACE support and find out where the weekly walks are taking place, please check out our Facebook page LACE; Life After Cancer Essex (UK)

Telephone: 07368 145 474

Email: laceessex@icloud.com