Cancer Survivorship Programme a resounding success

November 8, 2012

guaranteed social enterprise Aquaterra Leisure helps cancer survivorsAn innovative cancer survivorship programme in Islington has proved a resounding success with local residents, with over 37 starting the programme since its launch in April 2012.

Aquaterra Leisure’s supervised exercise programme, led by specialist instructors trained in Cancer Rehabilitation, promotes physical and psychological wellbeing for individuals living with and beyond cancer and aims to manage the side effects of treatment and then gradually assist long-term recovery.

The free 12 week programme takes place at Sobell Leisure Centre, Highbury Pool and Fitness Centre and outdoors in Highbury Fields.

The programme is one of a suite of specialist exercise programmes promoting recovery from illness and surgery delivered by Aquaterra’s Active Health team in Islington. The team deliver health sessions in Cardiac Rehabilitation, Exercise After Stroke and Musculo-skeletal Rehabilitation.

People living with and beyond cancer are now encouraged to return to normal activity levels as soon as possible. The approach is client-centred with a strong emphasis on informed choice and personal control. Supervised activities included on the programme are Nordic Walking, yoga, studio-based circuit classes, gym, pilates and flexibility sessions.

Feedback from clients who have attended the programme has been overwhelmingly positive.

“The programme has given me a sense of purpose and a reason to get out of the house. After eight weeks I have a lot more energy, more stamina and feel much better in myself.” Gary

“The flexibility class is brilliant. I have really noticed the difference. I now have full range of movement in my arm without any pain.” Alicia

“The trainers are excellent! They’ve been trained to understand what the patient is going through.” Ruthy

Antony Kildare, Chief Executive of Aquaterra Leisure said:
“The high demand for places clearly demonstrates the need for specialist services in this area and we are in discussions with other London boroughs about expanding the service. We’re proud to be delivering a programme which can make a significant difference to quality of life at a time when people really benefit from it.”

The programme, a one year pilot funded by NHS North London (Islington) is free to patients registered with an Islington GP. It is also open to residents of other boroughs but there is a small charge. Working partnerships with local services and cancer organisations including Macmillan Cancer Support ensures a holistic approach to the programme and facilitates signposting to other services for additional support when necessary.

At the end of the 12 weeks, an exit strategy including a significantly discounted membership for Aquaterra Leisure centres enables clients to remain physically active and build on the progress they have made.

The Islington Cancer Survivorship Programme is open to anyone who has had a diagnosis of cancer in the last five years.

Please contact Aquaterra Leisure’s Active Health Team on 0207 689 9846/7 or email referrals@aquaterra.org for more information.

Aquaterra Leisure is a guaranteed social enterprise, with the Social Enterprise Mark

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