Fri, 24 Jan 2020
A THATCHAM group set up to support people with cancer celebrated its first anniversary last week.
The Thatcham Support Group was started by Aileen Blackley and Jane Hicks, who wanted to offer more support to people in the town who were affected by cancer.
The informal group offers a chance for people with cancer and their friends, family or carers to exchange views and coping tips as well as providing emotional support.
Last Thursday, the group marked its first birthday with celebration cakes made by group member Leigh Gothard.
Group numbers have increased in the last year, with a wide variety of people and their carers from all ages and backgrounds dealing with a number of cancers, popping in for tea and talk.
Mrs Blackley said that there were around 18 people who attended, who were either undergoing treatment or who had received it.
When the group was founded, Mrs Blackely said there was no support for people with cancer in Thatcham, something she felt was still the case a year on and echoed by group attendees.
“They do find it’s good to talk to people who are in the same boat, irrespective of what type of cancer they have,” she said.
She encouraged people to come along and to bring a friend or family member if they felt daunted.
With the help of fundraising the group has been able to operate its weekly meeting, but also offers a day trip along the river and a Christmas lunch in Woolhampton.
Group user Tracey Cole said: “I myself have found the group a great ‘go-to’ place, and Jane and Aileen have always made me feel welcome.
“The members talk about all sorts of things, and for those who don’t want to talk, that’s fine too because it’s a great place to go to just feel normal and not feel you have to justify why you’re not having a good day.
“They’re a fantastic group of people and Aileen and Jane do a brilliant job.
“Both they and I know there are lots more people affected who could do with the support of the group.”
No membership is required and people can turn up to sessions when they like.
The group meets every Thursday from 10am until noon at Thatcham Parish Hall on Chapel Street.
For more information, call Mrs Blackley on 07702 289473 or Mrs Hicks on 07887 525058.