Wednesday, 26 March 2014

A new initiative at the Starlight Centre will be supporting men with prostate cancer.

An empowering programme of support for men with prostate cancer is being introduced at the Starlight Centre at Peace Hospice Care.

The new initiative - 'Back in the Driving Seat' which has been funded by Prostate UK is designed to support men and their families, give them practical and emotional advice and help them manage their symptoms.

It will be run by specialist prostate nurse, Tina Smith  and has been welcomed by the active local Prostate Cancer Support Group FOPS  (Friends of Prostate Sufferers) in Chorleywood.

'This is very good news and a great opportunity to raise awareness and reach out to more men,' said Dennis Goffin from FOPS.

'At FOPS we encourage men and their partners to come together, talk, laugh, share and  survive and get the help they need. It is important not to feel alone with your problems.  We are keen to all work together with this new initiative at the Starlight Centre and reach more men out there.'

Tina, who has a wealth of experience in oncology recently worked as a Urology  Cancer lead nurse at Chelsea and Westminster will be joining up with Prostate Cancer Support networks such as FOPS to design a programme that will be most beneficial for patients. Tina will be working in collaboration with the Hospice of St Francis Spring Centre.

In the future the new initiative aims  to hold  clinics at the Starlight Centre at the hospice and at the Spring Centre, Berkhamsted, to promote well being and offer emotional and practical support to  individuals  living with prostate cancer.

'I am really excited about this initiative and really want to make a difference' said Tina. 'We want to reach out to men at an earlier stage of their diagnosis and encourage men to open up and come forward for support so they can deal with their symptoms and emotions and  get back on with their lives.' 

The new programme aims to reach out to the 300  men who are newly diagnosed with prostate cancer in West Hertfordshire every year.  

Dennis and friends at FOPS are also  keen to welcome new members to their support group.'We meet monthly in the evenings, in my home,' explained Dennis. 'We talk, we laugh, we share experiences and are fortunate that we have two consultants who attend our group.  We have a motto for FOPS  - enter as strangers, leave as friends. We are all friends with prostate cancer.  We aim to kick it in the teeth or at least kick it into the long grass.'

For further information on the 'Back in the Driving Seat' programme and future clinics at the Starlight Centre at Peace Hospice Care  email   tina.smith@stfrancis.org.uk

For information on FOPS and find out about their events and future monthly meetings contact Dennis Goffin on 01923 286804  www.thefops.org.uk