Eastleigh 16 July 2019 – Meeting Summary

We had a very interesting meeting and discussion on Tuesday evening and we would just like to say a huge thank you to the ladies who attended and made our 2 guests – Jane Deary and Marianne Oswell – feel very welcome.

Jane Deary from the NHS CCG was very appreciative of your openness and willingness to share what, in some cases, is or was, a very traumatic experience. These experiences will help to influence the new Cancer Strategy being drafted for 2020-2015. We have also received some comments via email from ladies who weren’t able to attend on Tuesday, so we will forward these to Jane Deary aswell.   

One of the topics that we discussed briefly was the financial pressures that we face(d) whilst having treatment for cancer. Some of these weren’t known to all of the ladies present, so we thought it worth mentioning a couple of things that might be of interest to you, either during treatment or afterwards. Please always do your own research and check out these items first before committing to anything:-

  • Contact Macmillan Cancer Support on the telephone to discuss matters of Employment, Pensions, Benefits, Law. They have experienced advisers and several of us have found them to be very helpful.  https://www.macmillan.org.uk
  • “New Style – Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)” – This could be claimed via DWP once your employer stops paying you Statutory Sick Pay (we think after 28 weeks) and it is based on your National Insurance records prior to your diagnosis (with no consideration as to your current earnings or savings). You will likely need a Doctor’s Sick note / Fit note and there could be other individual factors that may or may not affect your ability to claim this benefit, but if you would like to try, here is the link for the DWP website. Make sure that you state “New Style ESA” as the other ESAs are under the Universal Credit umbrella, which does take your savings into account. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-style-employment-and-support-allowance  (If you get stuck with any part of this process, Macmillan on the telephone should be able to help you)
  • Free Prescriptions card available via your GP which lasts for approximately 5 years.
  • Critical Illness Cover – Depending on your type of Life Assurance cover, you may be able to claim against this Critical Illness part of your policy.  Some have to be claimed within 6 months from diagnosis and some exclude “In Situ” breast cancer so please do read your Policy carefully.

It was lovely to meet Marianne Oswell on Tuesday evening aswell. Marianne is the new Clinical Nurse Specialist for Metastatic Breast Cancer based at Winchester Hospital, and she has an interest in setting up a new Support Group for her patients.  She commented afterwards that some of the open and honest feedback from our members had given her food for thought in the way that she deals with and communicates with her patients. It is really pleasing to hear that our feedback is helping to guide clinicians on the different / best ways to deal with their cancer patients.

We don’t usually have a meeting scheduled for August at Winchester or at Eastleigh (Chandlers Ford), but some of the ladies wanted to meet up next month as usual so if anyone is interested, we have decided to go to the King Rufus Pub in Chandlers Ford on Tuesday 20th August at 7.30pm. Mary and Jackie E will get there early to secure a table. If it’s a nice evening we might sit in the garden, but let’s wait and see what the weather is like.  The address is 135 Winchester Road, Chandlers Ford, Hants. SO53 2DU


We will send a reminder nearer the time to get an idea on numbers.

Looking forward to seeing you in August, or if not, we hope you have a lovely summer and we will hopefully see you again in September

Attendance: 9

Collection: £9.00

Donation to Wessex Cancer Trust: £4.50

Longstock Water Gardens and Leckford Farm Cafe Thursday 27th June 2019

On a very hot and sunny Thursday in June, twelve of our members went to the Longstock Water Gardens near Stockbridge and enjoyed two hours strolling around the beautiful gardens which are part of the John Lewis Partnership. The gardens are only open to the public on selected Sundays from May to September but thanks to the generosity of the JL Partnership, our group was allowed a personal visit. The head gardener told us a little of the history of the Gardens, before we were left to explore some of the 7 acre site. “The Gardens were created by the Beddington family in the 1930’s and further developed by John Spedan Lewis in the 1940’s as a place to reflect and relax”. That certainly is a very apt description.

Our group had previously visited the Gardens in August last year on an overcast and somewhat drizzly day, but despite there being only a few flowers, the setting and the plants were stunning. We were hoping for beautiful blooms this year, in the sunshine… and we weren’t disappointed!

The sun was reflecting off the water, and the plants were in full bloom. There were fish in the lakes, swimming among the 40 different varieties of waterlillies. Blue damselflies landed on the huge leaves of the Gunnera plants and we saw many varieties of Hosta, which had somehow avoided being eaten by slugs. A number of garden benches were sited around the lakes, offering the perfect location to soak up the peace and tranquility.

We drove the short distance to the Longstock Park Nursery and Leckford Farm Shop where we wandered among the huge array of plants for sale. The Farm Shop offered fresh produce, where some of us took advantage of the reduced price items including the very delicious “Berry Compote” – perfect with yoghurt for breakfast the next day.

The Nursery also has a beautiful brick and flint walled garden which is home to National Collections of Buddleja and Clematis Viticella. It also houses an historic 80 metre herbaceous border with a fabulous display of colours and textures.

And finally, we had afternoon tea and cream teas at the Leckford Farm Cafe – a feast of sandwiches, scones and cakes. A truly wonderful afternoon of serenity, good company, beautiful weather and good food.

Thank you to Jackie Bugg, Sue Arnold, Linda Bett and Jackie Evans for arranging this trip and thanks also to the John Lewis Partnership for allowing us entry to the Gardens and Leckford Café for the lovely afternoon / cream teas.

2 Jul 2019 – CANCELLED

Cancelled due to insufficient numbers. Barbara and Jaana will attend our meeting on 5th Nov 2019.

esearch dietitians Babara Parry and Jaana Jeffrey would like to consult you all (as experts in terms of your lived experience) on how best to develop a research project that seeks to describe sources of information about physical activity after diagnosis.

Date: Tuesday 2 Jul 2019

Time: 19:30-21:00
Venue: Christ Church, Winchester, SO23 9SR
Cost: £1 donation