“Change is difficult… [But] the service has helped with the biggest obstacles. Now I have options on how I could achieve my goals. It was good to know there is more than one type of help available”.
Yasin is a British Pakistani man in his 30s from Newham who was recovering from treatment for a blood cancer when he was referred to the Macmillan Social Prescribing Service by his physiotherapist. He lives with his siblings and was interested in finding physical activities he could do locally, seeking employment and improving his social network. Yasin was dealing with post-treatment side effects and adjusting to life after cancer.
Yasin attended four face-to-face appointments in Stratford. Before his diagnosis with cancer he had enjoyed working full-time and had many active hobbies. Yasin’s treatment and resulting immune system complications have had a big impact on his life. He now had to be very careful regarding exposure to infection, his lungs are weakened and muscle strength is reduced.
During the sessions Yasin was encouraged to reflect on what he enjoyed, what was important to him and what we think would help. He described missing work and wanting to gain some “sense of normality”. He was frustrated because the local job centre hadn’t been understanding of his situation and bored which led to a tendency to play a lot of computer games and this didn’t make him feel good.
Together with his Macmillan Social Prescriber they explored different activities and services that might be helpful. He was referred to a local men’s cancer support group. Yasin enjoyed meeting other people and having some shared experiences with the group. He was referred to the employment and skills team based at the Bromley by Bow Centre and went on to attend an interview for a part time role.
Yasin explored exercise options with his Social Prescriber and identified he wanted to keep physically fit without compromising his immune system or getting too tired. Through this conversation Yasin came up with a strategy to ensure he didn’t get carried away when walking. Yasin was keen to develop new skills to counter his boredom and socialise more: he joined a Time Bank and has been a regular attendee at their weekly coffee morning.
Yasin is pleased to now have a number of services and activities that are helping him reach his goals around his physical activity, work and social life.