How did Breathe Outside use their Sport England Together Fund investment to provide outdoor group exercise for people living with, and beyond, cancer?
We caught up with Natalie Hallas of Breathe Outside CIC to find out about the success of the sessions and the difference it made to participants.
What were you hoping to achieve with your funding?
We planned to provide cancer rehabilitation group exercise sessions in the community, as part of the Can Move Bucks umbrella referral network: providing community services for people undergoing or post-cancer treatment.
The investment subsidised the cost of delivering a face-to-face group exercise session with a Level 4 cancer rehab exercise professional on a weekly basis. Patients were referred through the Can Move referral network.
How did people find out about the sessions?
Buckinghamshire NHS Trust were the main referrers to the programme, along with verbal encouragement, flyers, social media, word of mouth.
What were the positive outcomes from the project?
A woman with colon cancer and stoma attended two 6-week blocks whilst recovering from surgery. She found the programme very uplifting and benefitted from attending as she was currently previously very active. She is now doing mainstream exercise and continues to be active.
A man with prostate cancer attended the sessions. He is experiencing debilitating side effects from hormone treatment and reported being more active as a result of attending the sessions.
Did you learn any lessons, to help with future programmes?
More referrals are required to establish a sustainable group, particularly General Practitioner referrals from the local area. At this stage the programme is not viable unless a sustained referral stream is established.
Is there anything you’d like to add?
I am very appreciative and grateful for the grant funding which has allowed me to deliver the programme, albeit it to very small number of patients. The people who have attended have given excellent feedback both verbally and written, and it would be great if more people could benefit from attending.
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