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The Singing Club at Cancer Services

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A singing club for cancer patients has been set up by a Macmillan Information and Support Specialist Nurse at Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

“Singing can have many benefits for cancer patients including helping people with their breathing and elevating their mood,” explains Fay Grech-Marguerat, Macmillan Cancer Information & Support Advanced Nurse Practitioner at the Macmillan unit in the hospital. “It’s also a social activity, bringing people together to have fun and achieve a common goal.”

23 people affected by cancer have got involved and the group has held five meetings so far.

“We combine singing and breathing exercises and then sing songs, old and new. Everyone enjoys it, although we are all a little tired by the end. We have big ambitions though and are hoping to make a recording as well as holding a Christmas concert.

“My good friend, Caroline Dickens, is the group’s pianist and organises the sheet music. I couldn’t do the singing club without her.”

The club runs on the last Friday of the month, 1pm until 3pm, at The Peartree Centre, Peartree Bridge. If anyone affected by cancer is interested they can just call Fay on 01908 996563 or email fay.grech-marguerat@mkuh.nhs.uk.

Fay and her colleague Samantha Timmins provide information and support to anyone affected by cancer in Milton Keynes and the surrounding areas. This includes patients, their families and friends, hospital and community medical staff and allied health professionals and the ‘worried well’.

“When you have cancer, you can feel quite alone,” adds Fay. “The disease and its treatment can be emotionally, mentally, physically and, in some cases, financially draining and leave a person unsure of where to get help. We have access to a wide range of printed, audio and visual information related to cancer. Our main role is to provide one to one support and counselling to people affected by cancer of any type and at any stage.”

Fay and Sam also facilitate support groups and well being initiatives to support people living with and beyond cancer. They offer monthly ‘Look Good Feel Better’ workshops, run by a team of volunteer  beauticians/make up artists, which are in high demand.

Fay and Sam also refer people to other organisations in and out of the hospital, for further information and support. They work closely with other professionals within the Trust, Macmillan Cancer Support and Citizens Advice, implementing cancer prevention/health promotion events and supporting local corporate and community health events. Their aim is to ensure that cancer information and support is accessible to all who need it, so that no one need face cancer alone.

You can contact the Macmillan Information & Support at Milton Keynes General Hospital on 01908 996563.