‘Move More’ Programme for people living with cancer launches in Mid and East Antrim

Pictured L-R at the launch of Move More Mid and East Antrim are Anne Donaghy, Chief Executive of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council; Heather Monteverde, Head of Services for Macmillan in NI; Anna McCallion, Move More participant who attends the Carrickfergus class; Moyra Mills, Macmillan Service Lead Improvement for Northern Health and Social Care Trust; Beth Adger, Deputy Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council; Aaron Irwin, Mid and East Antrim Move More Co-ordinator; Helen Harris, Move More participant who attends the Ballymena class; Alan Tweed, Move More participant who attends the Larne class and Diarmaid McAuley, Macmillan Services Programme Manager.

MID and East Antrim is the latest council area to establish an empowering physical activity project to improve the lives of local people living with cancer.

Move More NI is delivered in partnership with Mid and East Antrim District Council, Macmillan Cancer Support and the Northern Health and Social Care Trust.

It launched with an event held at Carrickfergus Leisure Centre.

Move More NI is funded for three years by Macmillan Cancer Support and aims to provide the support that people living with cancer may need to become and remain active and enjoy an improved quality of life.

Many people living with cancer want to make positive changes to their lives and taking steps to have a healthier lifestyle can be a big part of this.

Move More NI ensures that everyone living with cancer in Northern Ireland is aware of the benefits of physical activity and is enabled to choose to become and to stay active at a level that’s right for them.

Heather Monteverde, Head of Services for Macmillan in Northern Ireland, said: “There are 63,000 people living with cancer in NI – almost one in two of us will experience cancer at some point in our lifetime.

“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 has now launched in the Mid and East Antrim Council area.”

Beth Adger, Deputy Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, said: “This partnership with Macmillan will provide opportunities for those affected by cancer.

“By working together people living with a cancer diagnosis can receive the right support, guidance and motivation they need. They will be able to access the fantastic facilities, coaching and clubs that our Borough has to offer, and our Move More Coordinator can help people find an activity that is tailored to their needs.”

Three participants who take part in Move More activities across the Mid and East Antrim area all shared their positive experiences of the programme at the launch event.

Alan Tweed attends the Move More Larne class. He said: “Co-ordinator Aaron is enthusiastic about exercise and allows you to take it at your own pace but still takes time to have a one to one with each of us – the benefits far outweigh any pain!”

Anna McCallion attends the Move More Carrickfergus class and said: “I have benefited so much from the support and guidance and regaining my confidence to exercise since joining the Move More class. I really enjoy the walking and training at the leisure centre; all of which have resulted in a truly feel good factor.”

Helen Harris attends the Ballymena Move More Class and she added: “The Move More programme has brought me understanding friends, a sense of well-being and Aaron’s enthusiastic smile mixed with his unceasing encouragement makes me feel good every time I manage just a little more.”

Move More Coordinator for Mid and East Antrim, Aaron Irwin is responsible for providing the support, motivation and opportunities that people may need to become and remain active.

He says: “Move More is available for anyone who has been diagnosed with cancer. I can help people to find an activity that they enjoy and that fits in with their lifestyle.

“We provide the support that they need to become and remain active and enjoy improved quality of life. People have the opportunity to try out a range of activities, and access incentives including free taster sessions, discounted membership rates and access for family and friends too.”

People living with cancer can be referred onto Move More NI by a healthcare professional or can also self-refer onto the project.

To get involved or for more information on Move More Mid and East Antrim phone Move More Coordinator Aaron Irwin on M: 07939 634 434 or email Move.More@midandeastantrim.gov.uk

If you would like to help Macmillan to raise invaluable funds to support services for people living with cancer in Northern Ireland, visit macmillan.org.uk or call our Supporter Care Team on T: 0300 1000 200 today.

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