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PRESS RELEASE - 19/11/2020

Cancer patients across the country are benefiting from “game-changing” online support during the pandemic, thanks to a £50,000 grant to Penny Brohn UK from breast cancer charity Walk the Walk.

After the pandemic took hold earlier this year, Bristol-based cancer support charity Penny Brohn UK quickly switched to providing online help for cancer patients suffering feelings of isolation. Walk the Walk’s funding will ensure these vital services continue for a further six months.

Emergency grants are being made by Walk the Walk until the end of the year, to frontline cancer charities, whose income has been drastically reduced.

Penny Brohn’s virtual group sessions and one to one appointments with doctors, counsellors, nutritional and exercise therapists, have already made a huge difference, reaching beyond geographical boundaries. Recently, one participant said: “Living in Derbyshire, it was hard for me to access Penny Brohn’s services on a regular basis prior to lockdown, so being able to take part in the sessions via Zoom has been an absolute game-changer. I think I have now pretty much accessed them all. I am full of gratitude. Penny Brohn has continued to be my anchor”.

Penny Brohn herself, the founder of the charity, recognised during her own cancer treatment that she needed to care equally for her “mind, spirit, emotions, heart and soul”.  Since she died in 1999, the charity bearing her name has continued to help thousands of cancer patients do just that. Penny Brohn UK’s Bristol headquarters – currently closed due to the pandemic – is a haven of tranquillity, particularly its beautiful garden.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, Penny Brohn UK has been as passionate as ever about supporting people’s mental health and wellbeing.  Walk the Walk shares this ethos and has granted funds to the charity for 20 years.

Nina Barough CBE, Founder and Chief Executive of Walk the Walk said: “We are delighted to be able to support Penny Brohn UK with a Walk the Walk emergency grant that will enable them to provide crucial online support, whilst their main operation in Bristol is closed and unable to provide face to face sessions. These online and digital services have become such a vital lifeline to women and men living with cancer. It is a wonderful and very positive thought, that moving forward and when it is safe to open their centre, Penny Brohn UK will continue offering online services that can reach patients across the world. Meanwhile, Walk the Walk are determined to continue helping to make a difference where we can, and where it is needed most”.

Julie Worrall, CEO of Penny Brohn UK said: “The support of Walk the Walk has been transformational to Penny Brohn UK. It is a special relationship that has enabled Penny Brohn UK to be the charity it is today.  This year has been particularly hard for us all and we are truly grateful to Nina and the Trustees for their grant towards our online services.  With their help, we are able to reach people with cancer beyond geographical boundaries; helping them to feel less alone and more connected during this most challenging of times.”

Going forward after the pandemic, Penny Brohn UK plans to run its virtual and physical support services side by side.

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Notes to Editors:

Walk the Walk and Penny Brohn UK

  • Since 2000, Walk the Walk has granted in excess of £21.5 million to Penny Brohn UK.
  • The latest grant from Walk the Walk to Penny Brohn UK will help fund a selection of remote, nationwide care services for around 45,000 clinically vulnerable cancer patients and their carers including:
  • An Emergency Helpline
  • One to one telephone or video appointments with medical experts and therapists
  • Group Zoom sessions, including” Managing Resilience During Lockdown” and “Morning Moves” (for women affected by cancer)
  • Daily group Zoom sessions focusing on relaxation, mindfulness and meditation techniques.

Walk the Walk

  • Walk the Walk is a health charity, specialising in fitness and Power Walking challenges
  • ‘The MoonWalk’ is Walk the Walk’s flagship event, held in London, Scotland and Iceland, with women and men taking on their overnight walking challenges wearing brightly decorated bras.
  • Walk the Walk has raised more than £133 million since 1996
  • This money is then granted where the charity feels it will do the most good
  • Funds are granted to research projects which are important to all our future health.
  • Money is also given to a variety of projects supporting people across the UK living with cancer now
  • HRH The Prince of Wales is the official Patron of Walk the Walk
  • Due to COVID-19, Walk the Walk have postponed some of their events to 2021.
  • Visit walkthewalk.org for updates about Walk the Walk’s virtual fundraising events and to make a donation.

Penny Brohn

About the emotional and psychological impact of cancer

One in three people with cancer will experience a mental health problem such as depression or anxiety before, during or after treatment. A cancer diagnosis, its associated symptoms and treatment can have a significant emotional impact on people and their families, with fear, isolation, loss of self-esteem and loss of independence having an impact.

About Penny Brohn UK (formerly Penny Brohn Cancer Care)

Penny Brohn UK is the leading charity in the UK to take an integrated and whole person approach to cancer support, recognising that people need more than medicine to live well with the disease.

We see each person as a unique individual with their own set of hopes and needs – a whole person made up of mind, body, spirit and emotions. Our approach to cancer helps people feel empowered to reclaim control of our health; to recover what it was that made them feel whole in the first place; and to rediscover the joy of living. To turn a potentially devastating diagnosis into a powerful life-changing experience.

When face to face services were suspended due to the coronavirus we launched a programme of remote services that are available to anyone living with cancer as well as those that care for them. Exploring areas like diet, exercise, emotions, anxiety and managing stress, these group sessions are delivered online using Zoom. To find out more go to https://www.pennybrohn.org.uk/find-help/online-services/

We also offer a free confidential helpline and information service. Call 0303 3000 118 or email helpline@pennybrohn.org.uk and 1:1 consultations with integrative doctors, counsellors, and nutritional, exercise and complementary therapists. All our services aim to work alongside standard medical treatment to achieve the best health and wellbeing by supporting the holistic needs - psychological, emotional, spiritual and physical - of people affected by cancer.

Penny Brohn UK is a registered charity and relies overwhelmingly on public generosity to run its services.

To make a donation to Penny Brohn UK go to www.pennybrohn.org.uk/donate and for more information www.pennybrohn.org.uk

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