Cancer Support Groups at Big C
By Jenny Daly
Being given a cancer diagnosis can be a stressful time not only for the person who has been diagnosed, but also for those who are supporting them.
People can experience various emotions such as shock, anger, and disbelief. They can also have feelings of loneliness and isolation.
Big C offers a variety of support groups facilitated by members of the Support and Information (S&I) team for people diagnosed with cancer, their loved ones and carers.
These groups can help people to discuss their thoughts, feelings and emotions with others who may be going through similar experiences.
Whilst our Support and Information Centres remain temporarily closed, these groups now meet regularly online via Zoom.
Why Join a Support Group?
Studies have shown that support groups can help to reduce stress and anxiety.
In a support group, you can talk to others about your experience of living with or beyond cancer, or supporting someone who is living with cancer, discuss feelings, share practical information and help others to feel that they are not alone.
Some people also like to share hints and tips on what has worked for them during treatment.
Support can also be a two-way process, so by joining a group you can equally give support as well as receive it.
Types of support groups at Big C
Big C offer a variety of support groups to those affected by cancer.
- Men’s support group – for men diagnosed with cancer
- Women’s support group – for ladies diagnosed with cancer
- Rosemary and Thyme group – for women with recurrent or secondary cancer and those the palliative care setting
- Carer’s support group – for anyone supporting someone with a cancer diagnosis
- Free2Be – a support group for teenagers and young adults with a cancer diagnosis
- British Sign Language – for those affected by cancer who use sign language as their main form of communication.
There are also cancer site-specific groups facilitated by external facilitators. However, whilst the centres are closed, many of these groups are unable to be held in person.
To find out more about local support groups not associated with Big C, visit our Local Support Groups webpage.
What can I expect if I join a Big C support group?
At present, our support groups are all meeting online via Zoom. If you are interested in joining a group and have spoken to a member of our S&I team, a link will be sent to you via email with instructions on how to join the group.
In the group, you can share as much or as little information as you like.
Anything discussed in the group will remain confidential, be non-judgemental and will not be discussed out of the meeting.
For confidentiality reasons, we request that other members of the household are not in the same room as you when you attend the online meetings.
What are the advantages of using Zoom for online support groups?
- You can join from anywhere that you have access to the internet or WiFi
- You do not have to travel to the centre
- You can stay in the comfort of your own home.
- You can choose whether to join by video or just audio
During these uncertain times, we will continue to run the support groups online to support you in the best way we can.
If you would like any further information about the support groups, please contact a member of the Support and Information team on our Telephone Support Line at 0800 092 7640 or please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jenny Daly is a Cancer Information Clinical Nurse Specialist at Big C.