Althea's story

For me personally, I became more positive, more focused, more confident, more assertive. I am me. My outlook - everything is different. I'm strutting my stuff now. I hope it continues. It allowed me to identify my needs after cancer and radiotherapy treatment. It's important to reflect and have support. The Macmillan Social Prescriber service provided a platform which enable me to talk through my feelings, thoughts, emotions, fears and concerns which then allowed me to identify my next steps in order of priority.

Althea - MSP Client

 "After suffering from the intrusion, disruption, violation and ravages of cancer and treatment, the humane, personal and intimate service provided by the service is a balm, welcome relief."

"After my treatment, I went to some exercise classes at St. Bart's. It was there I met someone from the Macmillan Social Prescribing service, and she mentioned what it was all about and I thought it would be something I'd be interested in.

I got an appointment with Laura (Macmillan Social Prescribing team member) and then things started rolling from there. I was lacking confidence in being able to manage my health, manage me. Because after cancer, life goes doop. Cancer can knock a lot of people hard, take the wind out of your sails.

There were lots of things going on in my head. I wasn't quite sure what it was that I needed to do but I just knew I wanted to have control of my health. Didn't quite know how I was going to do that. Then, I met Laura. She created the space. I had a good platform, a good forum where I could talk. You know when you talk things out it makes sense instead of it just going around in your head. Then I was able to identify that a good keep fit exercise program was important to me and that was a contributing factor to me taking back my health from the health care professionals. I was able to go and do exercises and prioritise the things that were most important to me in my life. Being active was number one.

You go to the GP, but how many minutes does he give you? Ten minutes. You go Macmillan Social Prescribing you've got an hour and you've got anywhere up to six appointments and there's so much that can be done in there. You know? I was signposted to so many other services."

Althea had 5 1-2-1 sessions with the service. Through these 1-2-1 sessions, Althea was referred to the Macmillan Welfare Advice Team at Toynbee Hall for support in applying for ESA and to the East End Energy Fit, a London wide provider that supports residents to reduce and manage energy bills and look to get energy debt written off. The worker also supported her to apply for a Macmillan patient grant of £300 towards clothing and telephone costs. Together they looked at concession rates at the local community gym and the worker gave her information about free cycle training.

"For me personally, I became more positive, more focused, more confident, more assertive. I am me. My outlook - everything is different. I'm strutting my stuff now. I hope it continues. It allowed me to identify my needs after cancer and radiotherapy treatment. It's important to reflect and have support. The Macmillan Social Prescriber service provided a platform which enable me to talk through my feelings, thoughts, emotions, fears and concerns which then allowed me to identify my next steps in order of priority.

Though my family had previously suggested I join a gym, it was Macmillan Social Prescribing Service that galvanised me into action. Referrals to other organisations were timely and professional with, empathy and humility always demonstrated. I believe the service is missing but essential link between health and social care. After suffering from the intrusion, disruption, violation and ravages of cancer and treatment, the humane, personal and intimate service provided by the service is a balm, welcome relief. It's likened to a glass of water to someone in the desert."