Council teams up with Macmillan to help people with cancer

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Mid & East Antrim Council’s Move More Co-ordinator Aaron Irwin and Macmillan Cancer Support’s Alex McMeekin.

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council has joined forces with Macmillan Cancer Support to improve the lives of people with cancer.

‘Move More Mid & East Antrim’ offers free and tailored support to help people living with cancer become and remain active at a level that is right for them.

The activities are suitable for everyone, regardless of cancer type or where they are in their journey, the council says. 50 people have already signed up to take part in the new scheme.

The project also provides an opportunity to meet other people on their own cancer journey, reducing loneliness, isolation and just offering a chance to talk to people who understand what it’s like.

The physical activity can be group-based or individually tailored depending on needs.

It can be anything from going to the gym, walking, sports classes, gardening, swimming or anything that gets people moving more.

Research shows physical activity before, during and after cancer treatment can help prevent and manage some of the effects of treatment, such as fatigue, depression and risks to your heart health.

Aaron Irwin is the new Macmillan Move More Coordinator for Mid and East Antrim Borough Council. He has more than 12 years’ experience in the fitness industry, with eight of those specifically working with people who have cancer.

He said: “We’re really excited to be delivering these specialist exercise programmes to help everyone living with a cancer diagnosis.

“It doesn’t matter what type, or where you are in your journey, we can help tailor a programme to suit you and allow you to take back ownership.

“Mid and East Antrim Borough Council and Macmillan Cancer Support working together means that local people impacted by this illness can receive the right support, guidance and motivation they need to help them during a difficult time.

“Not only can we offer a tailored programme, but we can help with access to a wide range of resources and top-class leisure facilities.”

Alex McMeekin, Services Project Manager for Macmillan in Northern Ireland, said: “There are 63,000 people living with cancer in NI.

“Physical activity is safe during and after most types of cancer treatment and can help to reduce the side effects of this treatment, prevent the occurrence of other long-term conditions, and reduce the risk of cancer spreading or returning. We are delighted that Move More is now available in the Mid and East Antrim Council area.”

The Move More initiative recently won the prestigious accolade of 2018 Coaching for an Active Life Award at the UK Coaching Awards.

The scheme was among great competition with other finalists in various categories including Gareth Southgate for his coaching in the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia and England Netball Head Coach, Tracey Neville MBE.

To get involved in the Move More programme you can go to www.midandeastantrim.gov.uk/MoveMore

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