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SHINE lantern walk

Night time lantern parade

Hastings residents shine on cancer awareness

Earlier in May, around fifty local residents participated in a night time lantern parade between Ore Community Centre and Downs Farm Community Centre, including the Mayor of Hastings, Councillor Judy Rogers. The event was organised by Hastings and Rother Community Cancer Awareness Project to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of cancer and involve local people in sharing the message. Chris Cooper writes.

The lanterns were all shapes and sizes and made a colourful sight as they were taken through local streets. Over 40 local people took part in two lantern making workshops organised in the run up to the parade, talking about cancer awareness as they made their lanterns.

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

Mayor Judy Roberts with other participants on the lantern parade

Mayor Judy Roberts with other participants on the lantern parade

A market place of stalls about local services and cancer information took place before the procession. Mayor Cllr Judy Rogers gave a warm welcome and spoke about the importance of encouraging people to go for regular screening: “I was delighted to join the Lantern Trail. Cancer is a very emotive word usually spoken in hushed tones, so to be able do something very visible is vitally important to let people know it’s OK to speak about it. If enough people speak about it, more people become educated and will seek help earlier.”

David Holloway, Project Co-ordinator for the Hastings and Rother Community Cancer Awareness Project said: “The event went really well and over 50 people came to the market stalls and took part in the lantern parade. We had great feedback from people who walked with us and lots of interest from people who watched.”

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, figures from Public Health England highlight that only 43% of cancers are found at an early stage in Hastings and Rother compared to 51% nationally.  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. For more information or to get involved in the project visit Awareness Cancer.

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, a social enterprise set up in 2005 that specialises in working with local communities to improve health outcomes.

Happy lantern makers

Happy lantern makers

Posted 13:08 Sunday, Jun 3, 2018 In: Health Matters

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