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Launch of Look Good Feel Better cancer care workshops for men

15 May 2019

Southend University Hospital is hosting Look Good Feel Better (LGFB) workshops for men at their Macmillan Information and Support Centre.

LGFB is the only international cancer support charity that helps boost the physical and emotional wellbeing of people undergoing cancer treatment.

The free confidence boosting workshops are held across the UK for women, men and young adults undergoing treatment for any type of cancer.  Each group session is led by trained volunteers and is a chance to meet others in a similar situation, as well as learning useful skills and techniques to manage the side-effects of cancer treatment.

Several men attended a workshop at the hospital in March and they all benefitted from the advice and support.

PICTURED (l-r): Kevin Sharp, Carla Cunningham, Michael Mann

Attendee, Kevin Sharp, aged 59, from Leigh-on-Sea had never had any skin problems until he began his chemotherapy treatment at the hospital.

Kevin admitted: "For the past six months my skin has looked miserable.  I've got lots of sores, cracked and split skin, dandruff, so I attended the workshop in order to learn how to deal with it from the professionals and get some advice and tips on products. I have learnt a whole bunch of stuff about moisturising and cleansing."

Joining Kevin at the workshop was Michael Mann, aged 64, from Southend-on-Sea. Michael was quick to praise the supportive atmosphere of the workshop, adding: "The best bit of this session is hearing from other people and how they've solved issues and finding out there are solutions to things I went through years ago. My nails were like tree trunk rings, so after every session of chemotherapy I'd finish with another ridge on the nail.     

One of the hosts of the LGFB workshops at the hospital is skincare specialist, Carla Cunningham, a volunteer and regional coordinator for Look Good, Feel Better. Carla said: "I've been running the Look Good Feel Good sessions for women for four years and I could see the benefits that the ladies were getting but I was also aware that men are going through the same issues and problems but there was nothing for them.  We wanted to be able to offer them the same experience that women had and I am aiming for Southend to be one of the flagship hospitals for hosting men-only LGFB workshops." 

The workshops also cover shaving and scalp care and a qualified barber is available offering in-depth advice. There is space for up to 12 men and workshops will run every 2-3 months depending on the number of sign-ups.

Friederike Englund, Macmillan Information Manager, said: "Cancer can be a really isolating experience and this workshop not only provides information on skin care with specific references to common difficulties experienced during cancer treatment, but also the opportunity to meet other men in the same boat. We are very grateful to LGFB to provide these sessions for us."

The next LGFB men-only workshop will take place on Monday 24 June in the Macmillan Information and Support Centre at Southend University Hospital.  Call the team on 01702 385101.

Click here to access additional information, support advice for men on the Look Good Feel Better website.