Cancer charity keen to recruit volunteers for walking service

Carol Annesley from Glengormley walking her dog, Gypsy. INNT 02-208-CON
Carol Annesley from Glengormley walking her dog, Gypsy. INNT 02-208-CON
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The Ulster Cancer Foundation (UCF) is urgently seeking new volunteers in the Newtownabbey area to help with the charity’s walking service which is specifically for cancer patients.

Morag Chambers, Volunteer Co-ordinator with UCF, said: “Our volunteers are an extremely valuable asset and we couldn’t provide our range of services without them. UCF is constantly working on improving and expanding our services supporting cancer patients, their families and carers in response to local need.

“One of our newest services in local areas is the provision of facilitated walking groups, geared to the needs of people living with cancer. Our walking groups follow a slow and progressive walking programme that allows the body to gradually rebuild its normal levels of fitness. Those taking part will have the opportunity to meet other people in a similar situation as well as enjoying the health benefits that outdoor exercise brings.

“The walking groups, which have been running from June 2011, have been very successful and therefore we urgently need more volunteers to help organise them. We would love to hear from anyone who enjoys walking, likes meeting new people and is interested in helping provide practical support for people dealing with a cancer diagnosis.”

Carol Annesley (47), from Glengormley, who has had treatment for breast cancer, is now a walking group volunteer.

She said: “As I love to be active and know what patients have been through, I was very keen to help with the walking service. “The walks are tailored to what the walkers feel they can manage. They encourage people to become more active and get fresh air, keep spirits up, build up patients’ strength and give them a chance to do a bit of socialising.

“So far I’ve helped with walks around the Valley Park in Newtownabbey, the Waterworks on Antrim Road and at Colin Glen in Belfast, and also further afield in Crawfordsburn and Castlewellan.

“The feedback is very positive – anyone who has taken part has enjoyed the walks and always wants to know when the next one is. We would be delighted to hear from anyone who would like to take part or to volunteer with the organising. It could be the start of many new friendships and will certainly add an inch to your step.”

If you would like to find out more, please contact Morag Chambers on Tel: 028 9068 0773 or email: moragchambers@ulstercancer.org

UCF is a local charity that saves lives and enhances the quality of life of everyone affected by cancer by investing in cancer research, providing care services and by educating people on how they can reduce their risk of the disease. All the money raised on UCF’s behalf is spent in Northern Ireland, helping to support local people with cancer. UCF services, which are provided free of charge, include a bra-fitting service, counselling, helpline, walking groups, yoga and Zest for Life sessions, art and creative writing therapy, family support services and one-to-one beauty sessions.