31/05/2019 | Press releases

Pampering workshops aim to help women Look Good Feel Better

Women are being given an opportunity to forget about the stress of cancer treatment and take some time for themselves to enjoy a different type of therapy.

The Look Good Feel Better workshops at Colchester Hospital support women of all ages who have had, or are undergoing, cancer treatment following a diagnosis of any form of the disease – but they don’t have to have had chemotherapy to attend. They help them to manage some of the physical and most visible side effects of what can be invasive and intensive therapies.

Sarah Orr, lead cancer nurse at East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT), which runs Colchester Hospital, said: “The women who come along to the Look Good Feel Better workshops say they feel more like themselves again, which is a very positive outcome after they have been through such a difficult time.

We understand they may feel anxious and upset about how they look during and after treatment so it’s all about giving a boost and support away from a clinical setting which improves wellbeing and self-confidence. It’s also a chance totalk to others about what they’re going through too and sharing experiences is hugely valuable to people diagnosed with cancer.

Working in partnership with ESNEFT, national cancer support charity Look Good Feel Better run the free confidence boosting skincare and make-up workshops at Colchester Hospital once a month. Everyone receives a free goodie bag, containing a number of beauty products that they use at the session which they can then use at home.

   

Each workshop is led by trained beauty therapists who teach women how to cope with a variety of changes they may notice during their treatment, including alterations to the skin. They can also pass on hints and tips for using make-up to fill in missing eyebrows or eyelashes which they may have lost due to chemotherapy.

Each workshop is led by trained beauty therapists who teach women how to cope with a variety of changes they may notice during their treatment, including alterations to the skin. They can also pass on hints and tips for using make-up to fill in missing eyebrows or eyelashes which they may have lost due to chemotherapy.

As well as practical support, the workshops give women a chance to meet others who understand what they’re going through, allowing the group to share their experiences with one another and reflect on diagnoses and treatments.

Director of programme services at Look Good Feel Better, Lisa Curtis, said: “Finding out you have cancer is daunting and life-changing, the added stress of the appearance related side effects can often feel overwhelming. Our workshops bring women together for a morning or afternoon filled with laughter and friendship and they leave with a much-needed confidence boost.”

If you would like to book a place on a Look Good Feel Better workshop, call Amanda Bath at Colchester Hospital on 01206 748383.

Similar workshops for men, which include help and advice on skincare, are held at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge. Visit https://www.lookgoodfeelbetter.co.uk/support-advice/men/ for more information.

Feeling the benefits of Look Good Feel Better

Two women have shared their experiences of the latest Look Good Feel Better workshop at Colchester Hospital in a bid to encourage others to go along in future.

Deborah Slater’s treatment is due to finish in August. She joined the most recent session in May and speaking afterwards she said she “felt like a new woman”.

She said: “It’s a way of bringing everyone together, it’s not just about the make-up. You can meet like-minded people who are in the same situation, you can relate to others around you and learn from each other.

“When you’re going for treatment you don’t always interact with people, but with something like this you can get a little insight into what they are going through and share experiences. Until you are in that situation you don’t know what to expect.”

Sharon Tansley said she wasn’t having a “good day” when she arrived at the session, she was anxious about her next phase of treatment, but said being with the group gave her a boost as she’d not met anyone else in her situation before.

She said:

It was amazing, I’m so glad I went along. It does make you feel better.

“I think it’s great they’re volunteers who do it and they offer all this for free – I wanted to take advantage of it before my next lot of treatment starts, I may not be able to come then, but I’d highly recommend it.”

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