Leamington group helping those living with or beyond cancer in the Warwick district get active

People living with and beyond cancer in the Warwick district are being encouraged to get active as part of a new initiative.

The Leamington 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 a local group linked to a parkrun event on the last Saturday of every month.

Left to right: Becky Wass, Louise Roberts, Jo Fleming. Photo submitted.

Left to right: Becky Wass, Louise Roberts, Jo Fleming. Photo submitted.

It is part of a national initiative which combines a cancer support group with parkrun.

It was founded by Lucy Gossage, an Oncologist and Ironman Champion and Gemma Hillier-Moses, an international runner and founder of MOVE charity who was diagnosed with cancer herself at the age of 24 in 2012.

The Leamington 5k Your Way group was launched in May 2019 by ambassadors Louise Roberts, Becky Wass and Jo Fleming, all of whom have been touched by cancer in their lives, either as someone who has gone through cancer or cared for someone going through cancer.

Talking about the initiative Jo Fleming said: "The Leamington group was started by Louise. She had breast cancer herself and has come through the other side and decided that she wanted to set up a group.

Left to right: Jo Fleming, Louise Roberts and Becky Wass. Photo supplied.

Left to right: Jo Fleming, Louise Roberts and Becky Wass. Photo supplied.

"Louise asked the parkrun community if anyone wanted to be ambassadors too and myself and Becky put ourselves forward. Neither Becky nor I have had cancer but we have cared for people who had cancer or lost people to cancer.

"We advertised the group on Facebook and put up posters in Warwick Hospital where people might be having treatment. We want to let people know this is happening and that they are welcome to come along. People can just walk or power walk, they can do whatever they feel comfortable with.

"There are so many benefits of being active and getting outside for people's mental wellbeing. For Louise, having had breast cancer, she was active before and wanted to get back to that. It's the same with other people, they might have had to stop because of treatment and this group helps people get back to it.

"I lost my mum to cancer and in a way it helps to talk to other people about it by sharing experiences. We can help people going through a difficult time whether they want to talk or get active."

The Leamington group meets at Leamington parkrun on the last Saturday of every month at 8.40am opposite the football pavilion at Newbold Comyn. Following parkrun the group then go for a drink and a chat at the Newbold Comyn Arms.

For more information email: 5kyourwayleam@gmail.com or go along to the sessions. The next 5k Your Way session takes place this Saturday (October 26).