Friday, 14 May 2021

Building a community of peer-led support groups

My last job was being part of a Community Building team in Gloucestershire. There are some perspectives on community building that can be useful for thinking about growing more peer-led support groups. In this blog I look 
at some of the work of Bruce Anderson, a community activist, leadership coach, co-founder of Community Activators and the Core Gift Institute (i) - this blog was first published on the Yes to Life charity's Wigwam Cancer Support Groups website and you can go to that website to see more about growing the Wigwam community with its support groups, well-being groups and Forums. 

Building our Wigwam community
Our Wigwam community is growing, but what do we need to give attention to if we are to build a resilient community? 
I have been fortunate to join community activist, Bruce Anderson on several day workshops to explore what makes a community welcoming and strong. His work with many people has led to identifying 'three glues’ of community that interrelate:
1. Everyone has unique gifts and capacities.2. It is the responsibility of the community to welcome those gifts.3. Creating hope.
It is when each of these three glues get attention then building community becomes easy. People want to connect. In this blog I want to cover them briefly as I think they have a big part to play in how we run our Wigwam groups.
'Rediscovering Welcome'
Joining a new group or attending an event can sometimes feel unnerving. We may not know the rules, the other people attending seem to already know each other and we might be anxious about making mistakes. If we are having a difficult time in life in general then this can make attending a new group or event even more difficult.

In many places, the power of recognising and welcoming someone new can be overlooked. The “welcome” seems to have been lost, reduced to insignificant gestures: a duty rather than something much richer. Perhaps like some of the hospitality industry where strangers are welcomed only if they have the money and credit cards. It seems we have moved somewhat away from the original old English meaning of welcome: ‘Wilcuma’ – to accept the stranger with pleasure.
Yet in some cultures the power of ‘welcome’ is still held held in very high-regard and the stranger on the doorstep is welcomed as one of the highest deities; there is, for example, an Indian saying that ‘Guest is God.’ Author and Patron of Yes to Life, Sophie Sabbage (ii) describes the Zulu greeting ‘Sawubona’, which means ‘I see you.’ The response is ‘Ngikhona’, said looking into the other’s eyes, means ‘I am here’ (iii). As Sophie says, this is about how ‘our hearts need to know we are visible to others as acutely as our bodies need food, water and rest.’
Creating welcoming spaces is a key step to ensure we can all feel a sense of belonging and worthiness. Shining a light on our welcome can help us uncover, restore and re-grow our welcome. Parker Palmer, a world-renowned writer and activist (iv) says that it is not about training people to be welcoming and hospitable, you just have to uncover people’s barriers to it - or rediscover it. We sometimes need help to do this; 'to see again with fresh eyes'. We are often too busy and have other things on our mind, but by recognising and removing the barriers we can rediscover the full wonders of welcoming.
One woman who spoke to me about the Wigwam Support Groups said she had not had the courage to phone for some months. She shared that she was not sure what to expect and whether the groups would be right for her, whether she knew enough or would fit in. Yet when she managed to get over her initial concerns and talk to one of us, the fears melted away. She even said it was the 'warm welcome’ that helped her take the next steps. Now we don’t get that right all the time, especially as what one person might find welcoming, may not be right for another. 
Definition of Welcome (Bruce Anderson): ‘The initial and ongoing interactions, with people and environment, that result in a feeling of belonging, and a willingness to engage.’
Bruce Anderson’s work with organisations around welcoming often starts with looking at where we learnt how to be welcoming and a chance to share a story when people felt unwelcomed. Employees are given the space to look at many different aspects of welcome. For example, signage; if the place is not welcoming on the outside, then people arrive on edge wondering how it will be. Is it easy to know what to do when you arrive? How are the phones answered? Similar questions can be asked of any groups including Wigwam even where they are already providing a warm welcome. There is often more we can do, especially thinking about the welcome to new members (v). 
Unique gifts
To welcome means to really ‘see’ the person walking through the door, to see their gifts and to be open to receiving help, wisdom and guidance from the person we are meeting or helping. There is a wonderful piece of old wisdom that says that helping is similar to breathing; you have to breathe in as much as you breathe out if you want to sustain your life. Indeed I have in the past thought I was there to help someone, only to find that it was my life that was being changed by the interactions.
Bruce Anderson writes on his website: “Cultures and faith traditions, many centuries old, used specific methods to identify and use gifts in their members. Now, modern neuroscience and positive psychology have backed up older wisdom traditions by proving that individuals thrive when they are able to find meaning in their lives by knowing and giving their gifts.” What are gifts? They are all those things that makes us unique; our passions, interests, experiences, skills and more. They are the tools that help us grow our community. It can take time to recognise gifts and support to help people offer them - all the while remembering that “A gift is not a gift, until it’s given.” 
“Every living person has some gift or capacity of value to others. A strong community is a place that recognises these gifts and ensures they are given. A weak community is a place where lots of people can’t or don’t give their gift.” Jody Kretzmann, ABCD Institute
I have been struck time and time again by the warmth and generosity of Wigwammers; their willingness to share their experiences and knowledge, to support one another, our many Forum experts offering their time free, people writing blogs for us or sharing social media. How can we do more of this?
Creating hope
The third ‘glue’ of communities is hope, and how you can sustain it by placing it at the heart of the whole community. This could be a whole blog in itself and is such a key part of going forward.
Found on beach, Cardigan, Wales
To take one example, many of us at Yes to Life and Wigwam have been excited by the huge healing potential that is offered by an integrative approach to cancer care. We see signs of change; this month is the first Integrative Oncology UK Conference and we saw over 700 come to the Your Life and Cancer event last year looking at integrative approaches. This is not just about hope for more changes and improvements to cancer care, but also bringing hope to individuals. 
“Hope is not the conviction that something will turn out well but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out”. Vaclav Havel
This blog hardly does justice to the idea of these three glues but I hope it gives some food for thought as to how we can continue to build our Wigwam community. We are open to suggestions, thoughts, ideas - and of course ‘gifts’. In further blogs it would be great to explore more about how we can create safe spaces for people to share and grow.
See more about Wigwam at: https://www.wigwam.org.uk
Notes & references
(i) For further information visit: https://www.coregift.org/ and https://www.communityactivators.com
(ii) ‘Lifeshocks, And How to Love them’ by Sophie Sabbage 2018
(iii) Terry Tillman writes about this connection and the use of this greeting in the Sci-Fi film, Avatar. He says: ‘The eyes are the windows to the soul. When we connect with the soul, who we truly are, all things positive are present—joy, acceptance, compassion, understanding, cooperation, loving, peace of mind, humor, ease, simplicity and more. That is the nature of the soul. And isn’t this what we truly want, a positive experience in life? Add these moments together more frequently, and for longer periods and we have more of what we want.’ See more at: http://www.finerminds.com/consciousness-awareness/samburu-greeting-terry-tillman/
(iv) See more at: http://www.couragerenewal.org/parker/
(v) ‘Our Door is Open: Creating Welcoming Cultures in Helping Organizations’ audio cd by Bruce Anderson and Community Activators. There is also a much earlier paper which doesn’t, in my view, fully capture the richness and possibilities that are covered in the audio: ‘Creating Welcoming Places Workbook’ (2004) by Bruce Anderson and Dean Paton: http://www.communityactivators.com/downloads/WelcomeWorkbook.pdfBruce talks about how a leader is needed to champion this welcoming work, but that it is also crucial that everyone agrees with the aim to be more welcoming. Bruce sees four domains or areas of focus that are crucial in helping to build a welcoming culture. Here are some notes from his work to give a flavour of those domains:• Storefront and building interior; if the place is not welcoming on outside people arrive on edge wondering how it will be. Is it easy for them to know what to do? How is the signage? Do the signs describes what to do, not what we don’t want people to do? How is the entrance? Water to drink, flowers, paintings, cleanliness, lighting and more can all be important. How welcome would you feel?• Customer processes; this is all the interactions with people, like how the phone is answered, the first greeting, how accessible is information about the group or organisation and whether waiting times be reduced. As Bruce says, ‘a person feels welcome to the extent they feel respected’.• Community Engagement; how welcoming is the group or organisation to other businesses and others in the community?• Employee support; employees have to feel welcomed in their own organisation if they are to be welcoming; this is about recognising gifts, induction processes, rituals for leaving, and how to challenge employees who do not act in a welcoming way.

Sunday, 25 April 2021

Can you help advance an integrative approach to cancer?

On 15th May there is the Integrative Oncology UK21 conference aimed at healthcare professionals. It is all about the benefits of integrating conventional cancer treatments alongside evidence-informed psychological, nutritional, lifestyle and complementary strategies.


See details at: https://integrativeoncologyuk.com

This last year has been hugely challenging but also represents a turning point in terms of a growing recognition and acceptance of the importance of an integrative approach to health generally, but particularly in cancer care. The Your Life and Cancer conference attracted many people who were directly affected by cancer but also doctors and other healthcare professionals who wanted to carry on with discussions. 

Robin Daly, Chair and Founder of Yes to Life said: "Conversations that followed prompted a renewed interest in the British Society for Integrative Oncology (BSIO) as being the forum to continue those discussions. Driven by this fresh wave of enthusiasm, the BSIO have attracted new committee members (including a number of oncologists), have created a new website, launched a new membership package and are now working in association with Progressive Communications (our partners for the Your Life and Cancer event) to deliver a new Integrative Medicine conference, specifically for healthcare professionals. The first 'Integrative Oncology UK 2021' will be held online on 15 May 2021."

Contact your medical team?

This latest event is another example of the slow but quickening shift to a more integrative approach in our health services. Those of us living with cancer can play a key role in influencing our health care. Many of us can see that there is a growing openness to integrative approaches, but we have a long way to go. Contacting our medical team, oncologists, nurses and more about the conference can play a role in helping the medical community understand how many of us would love to see health care developing. 

I’ve already contacted my oncologist and a friend has also emailed theirs and had a very positive reply. I think many are wanting to understand what their patients are exploring. What is the evidence? What works? 


What's it all about?

The goal of the BSIO and the conference is that Integrative healthcare should be available and delivered seamlessly to all those whose lives are affected by cancer. This online event aims to provide delegates with a strategic toolkit of practical take-home advice to help better support people in their care and ultimately optimise patient outcomes and long-term health. The programme will look at both prehab and rehab and how multi-professional interventions such as nutrition, exercise and wellbeing can result in better functional outcomes after cancer surgery and other oncological treatments such as radiotherapy, chemotherapy and endocrine therapies.

Speakers will discuss ways to help improve side effects of treatment such as pain, fatigue, radiation dermatitis, cognitive dysfunction, chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy and other common complaints. Managing the psycho emotional side of cancer will also be addressed as well as living with metastatic disease and how practitioners can work with patients to prevent recurrence.



The conference website notes that delegates will leave with:

        • An understanding of the science and evidence base underpinning lifestyle and complementary approaches in cancer care.
        • Simple, practical tools that you can use in your daily practice to support and activate patients who might benefit from lifestyle changes and increased resilience.
        • Information on how and where to refer patients safely and appropriately for further integrative support.
        • Strategies to help optimise the health of your patients and in turn providing you with increased job satisfaction.

Download a PDF programme: https://usercontent.one/wp/integrativeoncologyuk.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Integrative_Oncology_UK_2021.pdf

Friday, 2 April 2021

Fluffy Vegan Quinoa pancakes

I do like a pancake…all sorts of pancakes…stacks of those American pancakes or buckwheat crepes… ...however with my largely gluten-free diet I have been cautious about some ingredients and also trying to be low carb. So I was delighted to be sent this recipe for pancakes that are not just light and fluffy but also have a slightly crispy texture to the outside of them. They are though still more of a treat!  

We’ve made them several times and a friend just requested the recipe - so here it is:

- 1 cup quinoa flour (ie quinoa ground into a fine meal – you can either buy it or make it yourself in a spice grinder)
- ½ tsp bicarb
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 cup plant milk (we’ve used full fat coconut milk but previously a soya milk; the soya needed a spoon of something like almond butter to get the texture right)
- 3-4 tsp maple syrup (we didn’t add this)
- 2 tsp lemon juice (need this to help pancake rise)
- 1 tbsp coconut oil for frying 
  • In a bowl mix quinoa flour, baking powder and bicarb.
  • Mix in the plant milk then lemon juice. 
  • Spoon in a big dollop of the mix into the frying pan and cook for roughly 2 mins each side. Store the stack in the oven to keep warm.                

Serve with toasted almonds or coconut flakes with blueberries, pomegranate seeds, fresh figs or whatever takes your fancy! 

Tuesday, 30 March 2021

Garlic - and a Wild Garlic Pesto

Yay! It is wild garlic time - some might know it as 'bear's garlic’, ‘field garlic’ and 'stinking Jenny'. It sure does give off a pungent smell. I am very fortunate to live near woods so every year it is one of those things we forage lots. 

So why here in this cancer blog? Well I just I wanted to celebrate this wonderful gift of nature. That is more than enough and I’m sure it has loads of health giving properties..I am guessing that the research hasn’t been done in any meaningful way but my gut tells me it is good! Having said that there is a fair bit of research about the positive impact of ordinary garlic and in particular one of its key compounds, an amino acid called allicin(i). 

Indeed there are several claims that cancer can play a very significant role in cancer treatment. Chris Wark of ‘Chris Beat Cancer, for example has the lemon and garlic recipe on his website (ii). There is an in vivo 2017 study (iii) and an extraordinary study by Dr Wamidh Talib with mice showing garlic and lemon can tackle cancer. Chris Warks site covers the recipe details - not something I’ve tried. Would love to hear from folks that have.

Some struggle with the idea of lots of raw garlic and resort to supplements. This maybe good but there is some evidence that many don’t have the impact we would perhaps want and are much less effective than the cloves (iv). However some companies like Allicin Max have research to support their use and are also being used in medical trials.

It’s worth mentioning that I with garlic cloves you are meant to wait 10 minutes or more after you have crushed them before you use them raw or in cooking. This time is needed to release the enzyme that produces the anti-fungal and anti-cancer compounds. 

Anyway to the recipe for pesto; well actually I’ve not really got exact measurements as have done it by feel and taste. You can see below - there are also lots of recipes online and wonderful other uses for the wild garlic.

Recipe

• 2 big handful of wild garlic (it is the leaves we eat raw or cooked - not the bulbs)
• 50gm Pinenuts (or some have used hazelnuts)
• a great dollop of cold-pressed olive oil
• yeast flakes to flavour (and great instead of cheese for those on non-dairy)
• squeeze of whole lemon juice 


Blend all ingredients together until you reach a rough, pesto-like consistency then transfer to a clean jar and cover the top of the pesto with a layer of oil to help keep it fresh. The pesto will store for a week or so but ours usually gets eaten within days. This week we had it with spirulised butternut squash and big salad. I thought a spiruliser would be one of those gadgets we would never use but it is fantastic; love spaghetti made from courgettes!

Enjoy!

Notes:


(i) See research papers like:
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25586902/
And interesting discussion here from Moss Reports: https://www.mossreports.com/garlic-beats-cancer/



Tuesday, 23 March 2021

What can make the biggest difference to our healing?

I just had a blog published on the Wigwam website looking at one of the most important areas that we need to pay attention to in terms of our healing; our social support networks. there really is some fascinating research out there - and of course I don’t miss the opportunity to share more about Wigwam Cancer Support Groups. 

See the full blog that I'm delighted to say has been widely retweeted and shared already. See it at (and now below): https://www.wigwam.org.uk/post/what-can-make-the-biggest-difference-to-our-healing

In this blog Philip Booth, Wigwam Coordinator, takes a look at what he considers to be one of the key areas we need to pay attention to in terms of our healing; our social support networks - and of course he doesn’t miss the opportunity to share more about Wigwam Cancer Support Groups.

What can make the biggest difference to our healing?

For the last nine years I’ve been working for a charity who were involved with building welcoming communities. It was a huge privilege to come alongside people to learn and help them imagine and create relationships and community even where folk were grappling with serious challenges. I came to understand that almost any issue, whether it be racism, climate change or the impact of austerity, could be significantly improved. Indeed, as Margaret (Meg) Wheatley famously said, “Whatever the problem, community is the answer”.


Now working for the charity ‘Yes to Life’ for a few hours a week I’ve joined others in helping build the Wigwam integrative cancer care community; setting up Wigwam Cancer Support Groups, Forums, Wellbeing Groups and more. Again, it has been a huge privilege to find so many incredibly committed, welcoming people dedicated to broadening our view of health to include not just conventional treatments but also lifestyle and complimentary approaches.


The more I understand about health the more it seems that ‘community’ is also a part of the answer to healing from cancer. The research backs this up; one of those key social determinants of health is our social support networks (i). Building more connected and welcoming neighbourhoods is part of the answer but that is a whole other blog! (ii). 


In this post I wanted to look more on social support for those of us living with or beyond cancer - and why it is important.


What is social support?

Support is not just about practical support like the friends that helped get me to radiotherapy or the meals members of our Wigwam Cancer Support group cooked for one of us facing a particularly gruelling treatment. Support is much more. It can also include;

  • Psychological or emotional support to listen to fears, share joys and challenges and perhaps help understand deep emotional issues. 

  • Motivational support to help us make and stick to changes we want to make to heal and to remind us we are more than just a patient.

  • Informational support and help to discuss options.

  • Community support with those connections and sense of belonging but also the opportunities to help others.

Dr Lorenzo Cohen and Alison Jefferies in their excellent book, ‘AntiCancer Living’ (iii), describe social support as the “backbone on which all other lifestyle changes will either succeed or fail”. Support is indeed what helps us to make the healing changes we need - and a cancer diagnosis is the time to build on any existing support networks. 


Having someone look after the children when you have a doctor’s appointment or Qi Gong session is important but it is often emotional support that is most needed. Research shows that when we are around loved ones (including pets), the feeling of being loved releases into our bloodstreams a host of healing hormones, including oxytocin, and makes us feel better emotionally but also enhances our immune system.


I know how incredibly supportive it felt when family and friends really listened and respected my plans for cancer treatments. Building our support network is an essential first step in our cancer journeys; it is key in sustaining and improving our lives. Those with strong social support live longer.


Study after study confirm this (v). For example, research in 2005 showed women with breast cancer with greater support outside their homes were 60% less likely to die from cancer a decade after their diagnosis (vi). Other studies show that if you are married, or partnered your outcomes are better but it is having the strong social support that is what matters most, not where it comes from - a spouse, several close friends and/or a wider network all play a part. So, don’t just rush out and get married to improve your life expectancy there are other ways to build your support network!


There is also evidence from the so-called ‘Blue Zones’ where there are the highest percentage of centenarians; in these areas it is strong community that has one of the biggest positive impacts on our health and longevity (vii).


‘Social support’ was unsurprisingly one of the nine factors that Kelly Turner identified in her research into ‘Radical Remissions’; it came out repeatedly as one of those keys to ‘unlock your pathway to dramatic healing’ (viii). 


Sophie Sabbage, a Patron of ‘Yes to Life’ and author of possibly the best book about cancer, ‘The Cancer Whisperer’ (ix), also notes the importance of “Reaching out to whomever is willing to support you and creating a sustainable support system to facilitate your journey” and “Choosing relationships that truly support…while letting go of the ones that don’t.”


Sophie is wonderfully blunt about the need for us to get over being too proud to ask for help. She writes, “a cancer diagnosis confronts you with your vulnerability and there is no getting around that. It doesn’t make you weak; it makes you human. In fact, if you have been mistaking vulnerability for weakness most of your life, you can now thank cancer for slaying that ludicrous lie.”


In her book she goes onto share the importance of helping others to know how to help you, including a list she wrote to all her friends of what was helpful and unhelpful.

Loneliness and social isolation

Research shows the growing impact of loneliness or lack of support; the risk of many diseases including cancer is increased, and it can also increase chances of dying by over 26% (x).


Living alone, feeling lonely or socially isolated are different things. You can, for example, not feel alone when you are alone doing mindfulness. Some will read about others on similar cancer journeys and take comfort from not being alone. Crucial here seems to be about feeling alone. This can actually trigger the proliferation of tumour cells while those with more support have been shown to have lower levels of stress hormones that activate the production of cancer cells. 


In a recent Penny Brohn survey they found a shocking 8 out of 10 of their clients living with cancer feel lonely at least occasionally as a result of their cancer diagnosis (xi). It is not surprising with the huge impact of a cancer diagnosis and the uncertainty it can bring. On top of that we have lockdown and many of us are also having treatments that can dominate lives with side effects that make us feel too grotty to go connect with others. 


There are often cultural issues too; ethnic minority elders can face loneliness five times that of the general population (xii). There are significant racial/ethnic health disparities in cancer - an issue we’ve raised before in a blog here. In some communities, for example, there are lower uptakes of screening and appointments and poor awareness around cancer; this is compounded by a number of factors including racism and cultural and religious myths that exist around cancer being a “death sentence”. This can only sharpen feelings of loneliness for some with Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds who live with cancer.

Fleeting moments of connection - not to be missed


One researcher, Barbara Fredrickson, who has spent two decades looking at connections argues that culturally we underestimate the importance of fleeting moments of connection, like saying ‘hi’ to the neighbour or the smile from the barista (xiii). 


All these moments of micro-connection are meaningful and have been shown to impact us positively. In her book, ‘Love 2.0’ she looks at how you can increase these opportunities and build stronger relationships.


Impact of Covid-19

Victoria Fenton, Functional Medicine Consultant and Health Coach, gave a powerful talk at an online Wigwam Forum on human connection last year (see it here xiv). One area she tackled was how to create connection in times of isolation. 


Her list of suggestions to improve support, backed by studies, included ‘the magic of connection with pets’, getting out in nature, massaging and hugging oneself, laughter, how we can use technology not just to chat but to share meals or drinks, the power of music to impact our nervous system, sharing vulnerability and how we can find inner connection with ourselves.


Getting support 


Social support, however it comes, plays a key role in every aspect of lifestyle change, from stress management and sleep to diet and exercise. There are numerous ways you can get support; the challenge can be deciding what will be most useful in supporting your journey.


Not everyone is comfortable with a cancer support group and for some it is enough that family and friends surround them. However, again and again people who have said they didn’t think a support group was for them have now become active participants. For some a cancer exercise, art or mindfulness group might be right? For others a peer-led support group might be the answer?


Our Stroud Wigwam group has been going over three years and has been a great place for learning and sharing more about integrative approaches. New online support groups are starting so if you want to give a group a try let us know by completing ‘Get Involved’ form on our website (xv).


Sharing fears, concerns and joys with others, especially those facing similar challenges can impact positively on our health - especially our emotional wellbeing. Groups can offer deep support but also a Forum for sharing information and helping to stay motivated. They can also be a place of laughter. One of our members calls it her Anti-Cancer team. Another says it was how he understood the importance of exercise and got motivated enough to do it regularly. 


It is also worth noting that we know providing support for others is both a gift for the recipient and for the giver (xvi). This has been wonderful to see in our support groups and how the members have in some cases become close friends.


Social support should not be an after thought in cancer care. Dr Jeff Rediger, in his book ‘Cured’ that also highlights the importance of support (xvii), suggests doctors need to be asking: “How is the emotional nutrition in your life?” 


Kelly Turner suggests we ask two questions every day: “To who have I given love today? And, from whom did I receive love?”

Notes


(i) Marmot Review: http://www.marmotreview.org

Social determinants of breast cancer risk, stage, and survival https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31270761/

(ii) ABCD approach used by the charity to build community in Gloucestershire and discussion about role of communities and health: https://www.nurturedevelopment.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/we-dont-have-a-health-problem-we-have-a-village-problem8259.pdf

(iii) Anti-Cancer Living by Dr Lorenzo Cohen and Alison Jefferies. See more at: https://anticancer-living.com/#NaN

(iv) Oxytocin role in enhancing well-being: A literature review Waguih William Ishak , Maria Kahloon, Hala Fakhry et al. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20584551/

(v) For example: two pieces of research (a) In 2014 study of 164 women with breast cancer found those with lower levels of support prior to cancer treatment had higher levels of pain and depression. Social support predicts inflammation, pain, and depressive symptoms: longitudinal relationships among breast cancer survivors by Spenser HughesLisa M Jaremkaet al. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24636499 (b) A twenty year study looking at breast cancer survival found those with fewer social connections were 43% more likely to have a recurrence and 64% more likely to die from breast cancer. Post diagnosis social networks and breast cancer mortality in the After Breast Cancer Pooling Project C. KroenkeY. Michael, +8 authors W. Chenhttps://www.researchgate.net/publication/311613605_Postdiagnosis_social_networks_and_breast_cancer_mortality_in_the_After_Breast_Cancer_Pooling_Project

(vi) Dependable social relationships predict overall survival in Stages II and III breast carcinoma patients Karen L Weihs1 , Samuel J SimmensJoan MizrahiTimothy M EnrightMartha E HuntRobert S Siegelhttps://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16253620/

(vii) More about Blue Zones at: https://www.bluezones.com

(viii) See more re Kelly Turners work at: https://radicalremission.com

(ix) More about Sophie and her work at: https://www.cancerwhispering.com (x) See more at: https://www.campaigntoendloneliness.org/the-facts-on-loneliness/

(xi) Penny Brohn: https://www.pennybrohn.org.uk/

(xii) Loneliness and Ethnic Minority Elders in Great Britain: An Exploratory Study. Christina R. Victor, Vanessa Burholt & Wendy Martin  https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10823-012-9161-6https://www.nature.com/articles/bjc2016158

(xiii) Open Hearts Build Lives: Positive Emotions, Induced Through Loving-Kindness Meditation, Build Consequential Personal Resources - December 2008 Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 95(5):1045-62

(xiv) Register free at top of the Wigwam website then go: https://www.wigwam.org.uk/resources You can then view Victoria’s video: ‘How Human Connection Supports Cancer Care’

(xv) There are various peer-led support groups available and various online groups. You can see more about Wigwam at: https://www.wigwam.org.uk

(xvi) Regular volunteering reduces mortality by 22% (even one hour a month). See research at: https://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1471-2458-13-773

(xvii) See more about Dr Jeff Rediger’s ‘Cured’: https://drjeffreyrediger.com/cured-the-life-changing-science-of-spontaneous-healing-testing/



Building a community of peer-led support groups

My last job was being part of a Community Building team in Gloucestershire. There are some perspectives on community building that can be us...