Find out more about our meetings. Catch up if you've been unable to attend. Download the group's Newsletters below in pdf format.
You can register for our newsletters by contacting one of our team at
In August 2014 there was a Q&A Session. Here is that newsletter for download. Q&A August 2014
It was a full and busy meeting in July with much to discuss starting with thanks from Jane Bradley for the donations towards her sky dive in aid of Thorpe Hall.
Strawberry Tea: We presented Val with a rather fine Dahlia plant for her lovely garden, as a thank you for all her hard work on the annual Strawberry Tea event of which £423.00 had been raised.
We welcomed Joy Keys from Malaysia to the meeting (She first contacted us through Susan on our facebook page) who is a great traveller and lives in Malaysia. It was on a visit to New Zealand earlier this year that Joy first discovered her breast lump. Joy is now a member of ‘Breast Cancer Survivors and Warriors’ and remains on Letrozole. She recommended Reiki and Reflexology after Chemotherapy. Joy shared her story with us...Joy is now a member of 'Breast Cancer Survivors and Warriors'.
Beales Fashion Show: the VIP event was held on 14th July- Jenny, Val, Jayshee, Mandy and Margaret volunteered to model the clothes. The event was more successful than we could imagine and here are the photo’s to prove it!....
Well Being Day: Rachel attended this event held at Peterborough City Hospital. Everyone there were at different stages of treatment or recovery.
Jane Bradley talked about her proposed tandem sky dive for Thorpe Hall hospice, which she is doing with her daughter Lucy on the 22nd July. Anyone wanting to help Jane and Lucy to reach their target fundraising can do so by Texting JALU88 to 70070 followed by an amount between £1 and £10 or on www.justgiving.com/JaneandLucyBradley.
Annual Strawberry Tea Fundraiser: This event is being held in Val’s Garden on Saturday 27th June from 3.30pm to 5.30pm, tickets are £5.00 and can be reserved through Val Tel. 01733 267005.
Beales Fashion Show: Denise, Val and Gill met with Beales staff to discuss their proposed Cat-Walk show. The VIP event will be held on Tuesday 14th July from 6–8pm and our role will be to provide some models, highlight the event through our local networks, friends and family (including to any VIP’s we may know) and provide cakes and buns. We need members to help sell tickets at £3 each & publicise the event wherever they can by putting up posters.
Well Being Survey: Gill talked about a survey she had carried out last year in the Oncology Department and which she had first piloted with PBCSG.
Headstrong: Margaret and Jaysee had been invited to afternoon tea at the Wellesley hotel and had an enjoyable time. Vanessa Phelps was also there and had donated the £150.00 she had won to Breast Cancer.
Just a small group of us met at our usual venue in the Holiday Inn.
Strawberry Tea Fundraiser by Val is Saturday 27th June from 3.30pm to 5.30pm tickets are £5.00 and can be reserved through Val Tel. 01733 267005. There's a plea for prizes for the tombola and a request to Morrisson's for the strawberries and cream.
The Robert Horrell, Macmillan Centre Well-Being Day was highlighted by Claire who distributed flyers about the day, it was noted that this was by referral only from consultant, specialist nurses or GP.
Parachute Jump. Jane Bradley is raising money for Thorpe Hall and will be ‘Jumping’ with her daughter from Stibbington in July, she has also been invited to a PBCSG meeting to tell us all about it.
NCVO (National Council for Voluntary Organisations) have their annual conference at the Kingsgate Centre on 9th June. This is an opportunity to promote PBCSG work. The event runs from 9.30–4.00pm.
Beales Fashion Show: Manager Barbara has contacted us in the hope that PBCSG will be involved in their proposed Cat-Walk show.
Fundraising. We discussed what we could use our fundraising efforts for this year. Equipment that has been purchased previously from charitable funds is a tattoo machine and headlight for surgeons to use in theatres. The NHS does not fund all equipment needed!
We welcomed our Speaker-Sue Shaw; Casting for Recovery (CfR) UK & Ireland. This initiative came about in America when a Breast Surgeon & a fly fisherman realised that many of the moves of fly fishing mimicked the exercises advised following breast surgery. It was conceived & started in the UK when Sue Hunter a breast cancer sufferer met Sue Shaw, fly fisherman competing at the All England Fly Fishing Club. As these ladies were in full time employment but wanted to progress the idea of weekend fly fishing retreats for breast cancer patients they set up processes & sought private funding.
On the two & a half day retreats people are provided with lightweight fly fishing tackle including flies, waterproofs include hat, fishing jacket & leggings & only need to supply their own ankle boots or wellies, spectacles & sunglasses. All Board & Lodging is free to us. We have only to get ourselves to & from the venues. (See details of dates/venues in the newsletter)
Val shared & sold Macmillan’s Big Quiz-2015 for £1.
Claire Hall, Breast Care Nurse Specialist spoke to Lingerie Manager, Barbara, from Beales with whom Denise, then discussed the possibility of us strutting the catwalk at Westgate House in the near future. They are in the process of having a catwalk built. Barbara asked for ideas on how to organise the show, what we can do & getting maximum publicity, therefore money for a Charity of our choice. We discussed this & felt a local, rather than National Charity may be the best recipient of our work & time!
The meeting commenced with a dilemma regarding the use of the room at the Holiday Inn for our monthly meetings.
Denise then introduced Caroline Lansell, a Specialist Occupational Therapist from the Robert Horrell Macmillan Centre The Centre runs courses such as ‘Moving Forward’ and on 22nd May will be holding a daylong event looking at a range of coping techniques.
Tonight we were focusing on Fatigue and how to cope with it. Improving how and what we eat; - a nutritious breakfast and lunch will provide the fuel needed for the day. Fatigue can also affect sleep patterns so although this may not be easy, having a good sleep is important.
Opportunities for Free Skin care treatments. Women undergoing treatment for cancer have the opportunity to attend a free ‘Look Good Feel Better’ workshop at the Robert Horrell Macmillan Centre, at the Peterborough City Hospital site. Workshops will be held the third Thursday of the month between 10.30am – 12.30am and to get more information telephone 01733 673118 and leave a message..
The Start of another year! Very best wishes to all for 2015. Some of us had already met at our post Christmas event at the Key Theatre to see ‘The Mystery of St Finnegan’s Elbow’, which had been a hoot.
There were just a few of us at our first meeting for 2015 so we used the opportunity to have an in-depth talk about the coming year. A number of issues had been identified and, being a small meeting gave us the time to raise them with the Breast Care Support Nurse, Lisa.
We felt let down by the lack of publicity in the hospital’s PULSE magazine and local media when we donated £1,000 to the hospital Radiography Department. Apart from the importance to advertise the group’s existence, Denise felt people needed to know what we had done with money raised from donations and events.#Lisa was happy to help remedy the situation and took some posters to laminate and put in Breast Clinic, Wards and Oncology. She also offered to contact Communications at the hospital regarding the publicity.
Left to right: June, Margaret, Val and Pat presenting the groups donation to the City Hospitals Radiotherapy Fund.
Denise asked the groups advice about members who have a reoccurrence of their breast cancer. She said in this situation members do not want to come back to the group as they feel it may upset people. This prompted Pat to say that the key word is support which is what we exist for and Zoe agreed.
It was great to see so many members including nurses Claire and Vanessa at the Christmas party. Val recounted the Groups presentation of a cheque for £1000.00 to the City Hospital Radiotherapy department. Members were shown around the new Gating machine, which had cost one and a half million pounds and was housed in a metre thick bunker. The machine wraps around the patient and Val thought it would be quite intimidating to go into. Sadly the hoped for publicity did not materialise despite the Communications team sending out photos and a press release to the local media. Denise thanked Val, Margaret, Pat and June who went as our representatives.
June highly recommended our proposed social event. a trip to the Key Theatre Studio to see ‘The mystery of St Finnigans Elbow’. We decided on the evening of Thursday 29th January. We need to book tickets by 8th January to make sure we can all get in, as the Key studio venue has a limited number of seats. Tickets are £12.00 or £10.50 for over 60’s. If you want to book a place please contact Val on: 01733 267005, Denise 01733 341491 or email
Denise reported that Sue Shaw who runs ‘Casting for Recovery’ a registered charity which supports women who have or have had breast cancer will be coming to our April meeting. It provides an innovative outdoor programme, the first of its kind in this country, which combines fly-fishing, counselling and education to promote mental and physical healing within a rural background.
We have also been contacted by Justine Thompson, Patient and Public Participation Lead for the Strategic Clinical Network and Senate (East of England) about a Macmillan research project questionnaire. It just involves a brief telephone survey information below.
Helen Manning, Yoga Teacher with special interests in cancer, thanked Denise for the invitation and the opportunity to talk to the group about the benefits of Yoga. She informed the Group that researchers in America had identified Yoga as one of three complimentary therapies that had provided most benefit to cancer patients. Women with breast cancer have been found to be amongst the highest users.
Yoga deals with the mind, body and spirit and is known to be calming for those who practice it and helpful in treating symptoms of mood disorders that are highly common among people with a recent diagnosis. After removing our shoes Helen then took us through a range of controlled movements with an emphasis on the spine, breathing techniques and visualisation.
Our attention was then turned to organising our Christmas party, which will be on Thursday 4th December. This year we do NOT need to bring secret Santa gift as we are wrapping up the unsold gifts from Val’s Strawberry Tea Tombola Table.
Val reported that the presentation of the Group’s cheque to the Radiotherapy department was arranged for Tuesday 11th at 2.30pm. Margaret and Mandy volunteered to attend, Rita and Pat also said they wished to attend.
Margaret had designed a floral bouquet for Rita to cheer her up and to say ‘thank you’ for her time as Joint Co-ordinator.
It was agreed that our social event would be a trip to the Key Theatre Studio to see ‘The mystery of St Finnigans Elbow’ which is ‘the wacky alternative to the usual Christmas show’ and preformed by the Eastern Angles. We decided to try and arrange a booking for Thursday 29th January 7.45pm–10ish. Tickets are £12.00 or £10.50 for over 60’s.
At Headstrong: Rita, an old friend and founder member of the group has had to resign and Pam Hills, who is another volunteer, is also leaving. This means there is a need to recruit and train some more helpers. There are volunteers in the pipeline but are waiting to have CRB checks. Gaynor had requested more Peterborough Breast Cancer Support Group leaflets for the Headstrong room which Denise had picked up and Mandy agreed to deliver them.
Denise distributed the Peterborough Breast Cancer Support Group posters for GP Surgeries. Margaret said she had not had any luck with Sainsbury who would not advertise the poster in-store, as we are not a charity, so she was going to try the libraries instead.
Val is looking to present the cheque towards the end of October as this is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Val had contacted Helen, who had given a large donation to the Group this year but as she was not able to attend Margaret and Kanta said they would be happy to go along instead. Denise felt this was an opportunity to publicise the PBCSG and thought it would be good to try to get the Evening Telegraph, Radio Cambridge and other free magazines such as ESP, Cambridgeshire Pride and Nene Valley Living, all of which cover a large area of Peterborough and surrounding villages.
Denise highlighted the Penny Brohn Centre website and encouraged us all to take a look. This Centre takes a holistic approach to Cancer care and provides telephone support as well as residential and day courses on a whole range of living well with Cancer. (www.pennybrohncancercare.org/)
Denise reminded everyone that we still needed to decide what we wanted to do for our January social event.
We welcomed Claire who has recently taken up the post of Staff Nurse part-time at the Breast Unit. Lisa, who accompanied Claire, reported that Katherine Jurkschat who works for Macmillan Cancer Care is hopefully planning to set up both a newly diagnosed information day and open days in the future.
Chris thought this was a good idea as initially you are tied up with all the physical stuff like surgery and chemotherapy and when this is over the emotional effects begin to kick in. Lisa will send flyers if available at that point about these events for the next meeting.
Denise had brought some posters for us to take to our GP Surgery’s advertising the PBCSG details. Thanks to everyone who volunteered to help.
Mandy gave us an insight into her work as a Head Strong volunteer. So far she has done 4 or 5 sessions, in total 6 volunteers provide the Head Strong service in Peterborough and this is still not enough, Mandy is the only volunteer who has not had cancer. For Mandy working for Head Strong has meant she is able to help to make women feel better and share their laughter and experience’s of treatment, family matters or what’s on the telly.
We also discussed our Christmas Party in December and agreed to have a secret Santa bran tub. Other activities suggested were pass the parcel and maybe the Twister game, a themed Christmas Quiz, musical chairs, tying head scarf’s and a memory game and we will ask the hotel to supply the nibbles.
Denise asked for suggestions for speakers for next year, Carole is going to ask an Oncologist if they would come and speak to us, and Val suggested asking Rosie Callcott to do a session on Lymphoedema.
It was agreed Katherine Jurkschat who is based at the Macmillan Centre should be asked to provide a talk on managing fatigue in the New Year.
This meeting was highly anticipated due to the visit of Mrs Shetty Consultant Oncoplastic Breast Surgeon and the turnout was good. We welcomed three new members Valerie, Justine and Julie and in the time before Mrs Shetty’s arrival Denise took the opportunity to explain to them how PBCSG operated and the support given, and Margaret highly recommended the ‘Moving Forward Course’, at the Robert Horrell Centre run by the Macmillan Nurses.
The following items were highlighted:
The City Council are offering 10 free sessions on their ‘Lets Get Moving’ course looking at diet, exercise and weight loss.
The group took part in a health and safety day at Perkins on 30th July ‘One Life – Live It’.
Macmillan Cancer Support are hosting an event on behalf of the Hospitals Cancer Service User Group (CSUG) on 5th September 10am – 3pm at the ‘Quality Hotel’ (formally the Butterfly Hotel) and a light lunch is provided.
Helens 50th Birthday donations raised £270.00.
An Orton Southgate Pilates instructor/physiotherapist is hoping to put together a course for breast cancer patients.
Sadly our Treasurer, Pat Ash has had to give up this post. We send our best wishes to Pat, her Mum & family and Thank Pat for all her time and effort, including coming into Peterborough whenever we needed something doing!
Meanwhile we are grateful to Val who has generously added to her already busy schedule.
We were a smaller group for this meeting, which took place as usual in the Holiday Inn. Our speaker Patricia Mendes had cancelled her visit due to family commitments.
Denise, therefore, updated us about the Strawberry Tea event that Val organised in her lovely garden at Longthorpe. The weather was excellent and 48 people came along to support the event raising over £300 at the end of the day.
We were reminded that the Health and Safety day at Perkins on 30th July ‘One Life – Live It’, needed volunteers willing to spend 1 – 2 hours talking to people about the group and to provide information about Breast Cancer.
Jabeen and her friend Tafseer were attending for the first time and Dovi suggested we all introduce ourselves to them. Dovi said that for her part the trials and tribulations of cancer treatment had led to feelings of being down and coming to the group had provided positive feedback.
Denise said that Mrs Shetty would be coming to the group's August meeting and was there any questions that members would like to put to her?
Vanessa reported that the hospital has seconded an Outpatient Nurse to Breast Cancer Care unit to join the Breast Care Nurse Team.
Concerns were expressed about younger women now being diagnosed with Breast Cancer and GP surgeries failing to pick this up. Some GP’s needed more training as they could be dismissive around what they see as inappropriate referrals even though they are not specialists in this. It seems that Breast Cancer is viewed as age related and unlikely to occur in younger age groups.