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Annual Report 2015
Bev Lean (Chair)
Brian Porter (Treasurer)
Sheila Coughlan (Secretary)
Committee members were elected from the members and work purely on a voluntary basis.
The Southport & West Lancashire Prostate Cancer Support Group is a self help support group led by people
affected by prostate cancer, with Healthcare Professionals in attendance at all meetings, including planning meetings.
Prostate Cancer is the most common cancer in men and around 300,000 men are living with prostate cancer in
the UK. In the year 1st April 2014 to 31st March 2015 there were 181 newly diagnosed prostate cancer patients
in Southport and West Lancashire.
In 2014 Don Geldard, a patient who has unfortunately now succumbed to prostate cancer, initiated setting up
the group by contacting PCUK and the Urological Department at Southport & Formby District General Hospital. A
working group was put together which included the aforementioned patient, local Urology Consultants, an
Associate Specialist, Specialist Nurses, a Secretary, a Macmillan co-ordinator and a PCUK representative. After
a few planning meetings and seeking help and advice from established local Prostate Cancer Support Groups and
more patients joining, the group launched the Southport & West Lancs Prostate Cancer Support Group in
March 2014. It has so far proved very popular with 50 plus attending each meeting.
The group researched many diferent venues in the area in terms of size, cost and accessibility. Hurlston Hall, with
free car park, wheelchair access and situated half way between Southport and Ormskirk was tried, tested and
found suitable for the group, with members helping one another with transport.
After further planning meetings and three support group meetings, a Chair person, Treasurer and Commitee
members were elected from members of the group and the decision that the support group was to be patient led
was confirmed. The plan to hold meetings on the first Thursday of each month, (except August), from 7pm - 9pm
A promotional flyer and support group leaflet was created and circulated electronically and hard copies posted to
GP practices to inform them about the group. Local urology staff also share flyers and leaflets with their patients,
particularly the newly diagnosed. A Facebook page has also been created which helps to promote the group and
raise awareness pf prostate cancer.
Flyers are distributed each month to the local Clinical Commissioning Groups (GPs), Healthwatch, Council for
Voluntary Sector organisations, Macmillan Centre, Age Concern, Carers groups, libraries and other appropriate
local organisations. It is also posted on the Southport TownTalk website and promoted via the group's Facebook
page. Members also take copies to display at their place of work etc.
We work closely with Prostate Cancer UK and were awarded the Affiliate 'Level of Engagement' in July 2014.
Who are the group members?
This group is for men with prostate cancer and their wives, partners and other family members. New members
complete a form and these detais are entered onto a database and this is used to send flyers, either by email or
post, prior to each monthly meeting.
Members of the Urology Team attend each meeting.
At the first meeting in March 2014 there were 40 attendees. There are now 130+ members on the database (men,
wives and partners). Between January 2015 and December 2015 we had 9 new members (men) plus their
Purpose of the group
"We aim to improve access to information, support and advice provided for those affected by prostate
The purpose of the group is to provide information and peer support. Meetings provide an opportunity for
patients and their families to meet others in a similar situation and to share their experiences and support each
other. The group aims to prevent members from feeling isolated and provide a safe and confidential
environment where they can talk about problems.
Guest Speakers for 2015
There are guest speakers at most meetings delivering a variety of topics, some, but not all, are medical. However,
there are members of the Urology Team at each meeting to ensure appropriate information and support is made
Topics covered from Jan 2014 to Jan 2015 inc have included:
- Oncology research and research trials.
- Erectile Dysfunction.
- Southport Macmillan Cancer Information & Support Centre.
- Prostate Cancer Support, North West Network.
- Survivorship in Prostate Cancer.
- The Evolution of Prostate Cancer Treatment.
- Citizens Advice.
- Fitness & Diet.
- Avro Vulcan Bomber Pilot experiences.
- UK Border Control.
In addition we have held two "Knowing Me, Knowing You" sessions, which was a chance for group members to
share experiences and get to know each other a little better.
There have been two Christmas meals and one Easter meals at Fiveways, in Ormskirk, and also a Quiz night.
Feedback from members
- This is a brilliant idea to be able to meet others in the same boat and share experiences.
- Having guest speakers is a must! Learned a lot at this meeting. Well done!
- I think this support group is a wonderful idea.
- I would be happy if someone wanted to ring me/email me for any help or advice.
- Speakers are very interesting and keep us updated on treatments etc. Also we can ask questions on things that might be troubling us. Would be a good idea for new patients being diagnosed to come to the meetings and see what and how people have coped. We found when having treatment it was good to hear other people's comments.
- Very good informative talks on treatment of prostate cancer.
- Excellent talk on radiotherapy techniques.
- This is a super idea. To be able to discuss the problem with others with the same problems.
- My husband became very subdued following being told he had prostate cancer, after coming to the support group he realises that he is not alone and is much brighter again.
- I think peer support would be very good. Newly diagnosed patients have many worries and concerns, these could be answered by men who have already gone through treatment.
See attached financial statement as of 20th Jan 2016
A small raffle is organised at each meeting (except Christmas get-together) to raise funds to help with running costs.
Items for the raffle are donated by the members.
In January 2015 we successfully applied for a grant of £500 from Prostate Cancer UK which was to help with running
costs as well as towards stationery and printing costs.
In May 2015 we also received a Patient Education Grant of £160 from Takeda UK (a pharmaceutical company) - this
was also towards meeting costs.
Mr Mistry, Consultant Urologal Surgeon, presented a "Prostate Cance Awareness" session at Greenbank High School,
which is an all-girl secondary academy school, Southport on 10th July 2015. This event raised £476.38.
Plans for the next 12 months.
As requested by the members, we plan to meet every month, as some found they would prefer to have a meeting in
August, even if the number of members may be low due to holidays. In 2016 the first Thursday of the month does not
clash with any reason not to hold a meeting (First Thursday of January 2015 was New Years Day!).
We will continue to invite speakers based on suggestions from group members.
In addition to providing support to members, we wil continue to raise awareness about our group and about prostate
cancer. We are presently looking at ideas suggested by our members to raise awareness and to do some fund raising
All our members and Healthcare Professionals who have been involved in setting up the 'Southport & West Lancs
Prostate Cancer Support Group' and regularly attend meetings.
Yvonne Trace (Support Group Development Officer, Prostate Cancer UK) for assisting and supporting the
development of this group, and also for providing admin support.
The group is also a member of Prostate Cancer Support North West and we are grateful to them for their support,
including the use of their Charity number, along with access to other resources. As a member of this network we
will be submitting a copy of both the Annual and Financial Reports.
Thursday 6th June
Hurlston Hall, Hurlston Lane, Scarisbrick, Ormskirk L40 8HB 7pm-9pm
Speaker: Caroline Flynn - West Lancs Macmillan Information & Support Services Manager
Subject: "Coping with the emotional impact of a cancer diagnosis"
Join us on Facebook and keep up to date with group details and activities
Southport & West Lancs Prostate Cancer Support Group offers support and help to members and their families.
Medical advice about an individual's illness should always be obtained from a qualified medical practitioner.