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Cancer Care Diaspora: Stronger Communities Fund

Cancer Care Diaspora (CCD) aim to provide support and information on all forms of cancer, whilst promoting research into how it affects African and other minority ethnic communities in Manchester.

CCD tell us cancer is sadly still a taboo topic in the African community, which often leads to poor outcomes of the illness. They highlight the low levels of cancer screening uptake amongst these communities, and encourage uptake and provide practical support to people affected by a cancer diagnosis.

As an organisation they’ve been providing support for the African community of those living with cancer, and their families, across Manchester for 5 years now. They offer support to their service users throughout the whole diagnosis - at the beginning, during and after treatment. This takes the form of regular coffee mornings and support sessions, a 24/7 advice helpline, grocery runs, and also an informal chat telephone service CCD tells us has benefitted their members by reducing loneliness and giving a safe place for service users who live alone.

Why are we funding them?

They approached our Stronger Communities Fund to support their weekly support group meetings returning to in-person provision, where they offer various activities and safe spaces to their many members and carers. They tell us the weekly support group meetings enable members to come together safely to share ideas and learn from others going through the same challenges as themselves, what is working for them, and how to manage associated treatment side effects such as fatigue from chemotherapy.

The ongoing project seeks to continue support for around 35 families in Manchester they’ve built strong relationships with over the last 5 years and give them capacity to support even more. CCD estimated that around 20 of their adult members had been shielding for well over a year at the time of application, and that those members couldn’t wait to get back doing in-person activities safely once restrictions were lifted in May. Included in these sessions are yoga and relaxation classes, and a culturally appropriate, cooked, healthy packed lunch made by a registered caterer.

We funded the project with an award of £4,974 which went to costs for sessional staff, yoga instructors, packed lunches, publicity materials, venue hire and volunteer expenses. We Love MCR’s funding has been allowing the project to run for another 6 months, from 1st June 2021 the end of the year.

How is the project going?

Laura Urhobo, Founder & COO of CCD said now that they are a few months in:

“Our service users are really enjoying the yoga and relaxation exercise sessions. They have been giving us positive feedback since the project started. The exercise classes have helped their mobility and general well-being and they also enjoy coming to the centre every Tuesday, making friends and new connections."

We received a picture and some quotes from users below – the classes seem to be going down very well!

“Tuesdays Relaxation exercises have been very beneficial and interesting. For me, since I started the relaxation exercises my knee pain reduced to minimal. My general wellbeing has improved, because I have learnt to exercise my whole body from head to toe sitting down. I always look forward to this time because it gives me opportunity to share health experiences and socialise with other ladies with health challenges” Adanma, Longsight.
“The relaxation exercise has been a help to us. Since we started the exercise l can see some changes in my body, some moves that l wasn’t doing before it’s possible to do now, thank you” - Edith, Chorlton.
“The relaxation and exercise session by Dorretta has been very helpful, it has really helped in my mobility. Thanks” - Fortuna, Moston.

We’re delighted to have supported Cancer Care Diaspora with this grant, which brilliantly supports the ‘Reducing Isolation and Social Exclusion' theme from our Stronger Communities Fund. We hope that they keep on doing this vital work!


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