Positives notes for choir who have beaten cancer

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People from across East Yorkshire who have beaten cancer already have something to sing about, but now former patients of Castle Hill Hospital in Cottingham have come together to form a choir.

Positive Note has been set up with the support of the Cancer Survivorship Team, a service delivered jointly by Macmillan and Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust which works with people who have experienced cancer to provide clinical follow up, ongoing support, friendship and activities.

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At just four weeks in, the choir already comprises some 7 former cancer patients who have been through the Survivorship Programme, along with friends, relatives and members of hospital staff.

Anna Binks, Macmillan Survivorship Programme Manager with the Survivorship Team, says:

“The main aim of the Survivorship Programme is to provide ongoing support to people living with and beyond cancer to help with all aspects of their recovery.

“We offer patients clinical follow up with a specialist nurse in their own communities closer to home, as well as a monthly support group and a well-being course. On top of this, through the use of charitable funds, we offer activities and arrange social events for group members so that they can continue to share experiences with each other, access advice, and perhaps most importantly, to help them live life to the full again.

“The most recent idea to bring patients together and form a choir was an instant hit. Our group members are a very talented bunch; it’s clear to see when they practice that they are really enjoying themselves, and mental well-being is so important when it comes to getting patients back on the road to recovery.

“Beating cancer is a remarkable achievement in itself, but forming Positive Note has really brought members together and given them something to focus on. We’re incredibly proud of the patients’ response to the choir and thankful to Phoebe for guiding the choir.”

The choir is led by Phoebe Drinkwater, a music graduate from Hull University who has herself spent time in hospital as a patient of the Trust’s Teenage and Young Adult Cancer Service.

Phoebe says:

“I really wanted to set up Positive Note to give people a more positive aspect to their cancer treatment and life after cancer. We’re all in this together and it is so great to be able to get together, have a sing and have a laugh with people you share so much with.

“Music really helped me throughout my cancer treatment and I’m so pleased to be able to share this with the other people here! Life after cancer is completely different to before, and the opportunity to create this community of like-minded music lovers is incredible.”

Rehearsals for the choir take place every Tuesday night at 7:30pm within the main reception of the Queen’s Centre for Oncology & Haematology, and they would happily welcome more members.

For more information, contact the Cancer Survivorship Team on 01482 461091 or email anna.binks@hey.nhs.uk

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