5k Your Way: Cancer support group set to come to Harlow

Athletics / Thu 22nd Sep 2022 at 06:00am

A SUPPORT group with a difference comes to Harlow – launching on Saturday 24 September.

People living with and beyond cancer in the Harlow area are being encouraged to move more as part of an initiative called 5k Your Way, Move Against Cancer (www.5kyourway.org). This initiative is delivered by MOVE Charity. 

The Harlow 5k Your Way, Move Against Cancer group invites those living with and beyond cancer, their families, friends and those working in cancer services to walk, jog, run, cheer or volunteer at the Harlow parkrun on the last Saturday of every month and then socialise after over drink and cake in the local café – Spurriers, in the Town Park. In short, we are an active coffee morning combining fresh air, movement and socialising. 

Physical activity has been shown to have a number of important benefits for people living with cancer. It reduces cancer related fatigue, helps to preserve cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness and improves psychological well-being. It may also reduce treatment side effects, reduce the risk of cancer recurrence and prolong survival. However, despite these benefits, a NHS report found that only 23% of people living with cancer achieve the recommended 30 minutes of moderate activity 5 times per week.

The 5k Your Way, Move Against Cancer initiative linked to parkrun, provides the opportunity to do this. 

The Harlow 5k Your Way, Move Against Cancer group is run by a group of volunteer ambassadors, including a growing number of local health professionals.

“We were thrilled to learn of 5K Your Way, Move Against Cancer,” says Lisa Reid, local Macmillan Recovery Package Manager, Princess Alexandra Hospital. “It’s a national initiative which combines a cancer support group with parkrun. 5k Your Way was founded by oncology consultant and 12 times ironman champion Lucy Gossage and Gemma Hillier-Moses, International Runner and Founder of MOVE charity who was diagnosed with cancer herself at the age of 24 in 2012.” 

There are currently 5k Your Way groups at locations across the UK and in the Republic of Ireland. New members are welcomed whether walking, jogging, running or just coming for a coffee and a chat. The new Harlow group is aiming to build a supportive community and help cement new friendships. There is a strong collaboration with parkrun and support from the wonderful community of parkrun volunteers.

Ambassador for Harlow 5k Your Way, Rachel Bayliss, is living with cancer. She said, ‘This is such a good group to be involved with. I love the way Harlow parkrun and the team encourage everyone. I started running in 2018 after my treatment for primary breast cancer ended.

“Now that I am living with cancer I walk round the course, and the volunteers really encourage everyone, whether walking or running. Harlow parkrun is such a well-run event. I hope we can encourage people to come and meet the 5k Your Way team and they may surprise themselves by becoming regulars at parkrun.’

Those interested in joining the Harlow group are encouraged to register with 5k Your Way and parkrun HERE before meeting at 08:45 on the last Saturday of every month. For further information visit their website HERE.

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