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Lantern Trail

Lantern Trail

Hastings Lantern Trail shines a light on cancer

Residents of Hastings and Rother will be lighting up the streets on Friday 11 May with a special night time lantern trail to raise awareness of signs and symptoms of cancer. Report by Chris Cooper of Unique Improvements, a social enterprise that specialises in supporting community awareness of cancer.

The Lantern Trail is part of the Hastings and Rother Community Cancer Awareness Project, which works in the local community to help improve health outcomes relating to cancer. This includes encouraging people to take part in screening programmes for breast and bowel cancers.

There has been good progress locally at increasing earlier presentation of cancer and more people are surviving cancer in Hastings and Rother compared to previous years.

However, some parts of Hastings have significantly lower uptake for both breast and bowel cancer screening compared to country wide figures. For breast cancer screening, in some areas, only 49% of women in Hastings take part, compared to 72% nationally. Screening programmes help detect changes before they turn into cancer and find cancers earlier. According to figures from Public Health England, only 43% of cancers are found at an early stage in Hastings and Rother compared to 51% nationally.

In addition, Hastings has a higher than average rate of early deaths from preventable cancer at 92 per 100,000. This compares to 81 per 100,000 across England. By finding cancers sooner, it is hoped that these outcomes can be improved. Caught at an early stage, over 9 out of 10 people will survive bowel, breast or cervical cancer.

Since 2015, the Hastings and Rother Community Cancer Awareness Project has undertaken a range of community-based activities to encourage more people to talk about cancer.

The Lantern Trail will take place over a one-mile route between Ore Community Centre and Downs Farm Community Centre. This will be preceded by a market with stalls, games and other activities for people of all ages. The aim is to bring communities and local organisations together to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of cancer.

Activities commence at 7pm on Friday 11 May at Ore Community Centre with the community market. The lantern trail sets off from there at 8.30pm and is scheduled to arrive at Downs Farms Community Centre by 9pm. For more information about the event visit or text SHINE to 88440

David Holloway, Project Co-ordinator for the Hastings and Rother Community Cancer Awareness Project said: “The lantern trail is a great way to raise awareness of cancer and promote early diagnosis and saving lives. This is an exciting opportunity for people to come together and help make this a successful and fun event that benefits the local community.”

Richard Watson, Health Inequalities Programme Manager for NHS Hastings and Rother CCG said: “Cancer is one of the main contributors to inequalities in life expectancy in Hastings and Rother so this event is an innovative and visual way to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms with local people. I’d like to encourage people of all ages to take part.”

Hastings and Rother Community Cancer Awareness Project is commissioned by NHS Hastings and Rother Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) as part of East Sussex Better Together (ESBT). and delivered by Unique Improvements, .

For more information, visit Healthy Hastings & Rother.

The Lantern Trail route


Posted 08:52 Saturday, May 5, 2018 In: Health Matters

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