Why run a Wellness Day?
During active treatment, I was recommended a £170 video by my consultant, showcasing a centre where they did coffee enemas. Well, I’d read enough to avoid untried therapies at all costs. As a cancer survivor I needed practical, medically-based advice – not airy-fairy ideas, and especially anything promoting ‘miracle cures’,’super foods’, etc!
So I became very cautious. Anything I bought for treatment had either gone through recognised clinical trials, or was recognised by a cancer charity or group. But I realised it can be difficult to find information. Especially since we don’t want to waste staff time.
There are reputable products, therapies and companies that provide helpful – and in appropriate cases, clinically-trialled products – but over-worked staff often don’t have the time to tell us about them. This started off the idea for to run a Wellness Day.
I wanted to hold it in an interesting venue. Macmillan funded the hire of the Iconic Dorchester-on-Thames Village Hall. An 1872 building, designed by Sir George Gilbert Scot; the Architect of St.Pancras Station.
It’s in the centre of a 100 yard wide circleof interest in this ‘Midsomer Murders’ village, With the Abbey, a 15th century coaching inn and its ‘modern’ 17th century competitor, medieaval houses and pretty thatched cottages, anyone can make a day out of the visit..
Planning I wrote to tell cancer alliances and other bodies about the event,. Was surprised to receive back a ‘ticking off’ from a local Cancer quango. Silly me to expect a pat on the back – instead I recieved instruction showing what the thought is needed. Taking me to task, telling me what I COULD NOT promote re skincare,. Totally overlooking that my background meant I probably knew a lot more than the writer about the subject!, I had been a magazine beauty editor for a reputable magazine, been treated at the French Centre of Excellence for skincare, and had numerous interviews with top researchers about skin problems caused by cancer drugs and how to treat them.
Skincare in the UK is acknowledged to be poor; cancer patients suffer from this, but with my ‘beauty-editor’ hat on, I found which countries developed clinically-trialled skincare.Brilliant products developed in co-operation between cancer experts, skincare companies and cancer charities. A couple of the best at the will be at the Wellness Day.
A phone call from two of these companies, saying they will be coming – and I was in business! They are providing samples so we can try these products on our skin, to see if they work for us. Then one of the companies emails me to ask how many samples I will need.!!! My aim is to get as many samples of medically-approved skincare as I can, for men and women, so everyone has something to try.
The two Chrises. Charities are now asking if they can come, and I get a call from a Chris who runs a charity that supplies FREE mobile phone Sim cards to cancer patients, saying he’ll be there. Then another Chris phones; he runs a charity for head and neck patients, and has gone out and got companies to produce skincare to help those with this type of cancer – and for free! He’s coming too.
Come January 1st, I started a
Check-list of things to do
No. 1 Don’t Panic!
Ask friends to help – it’s suprising what talents are available in any community when you ask around.
First – practicalities:
- Costs and getting Funding
- Does venue have Disabled Access?
- Who is Day for and why?
- Which companies/charities/services/therapists to invite
- Car parking
- Will you need to tell the Police e.g. if there might be a big lorry delivering/lots of cars arriving at once, etc.
- How will you advertise the event?
- Who will spread the word to visitors?
- Decorating the venue
- Do you want Medical professionals to come?
- Do you need friends/staff to ‘man’ stands?
- What about welcoming greeters?
- Go-fers to set out tables/chairs
- What notices will you need, and who will put them up?
- Running a tombola/raffle and how to get prizes
- Keeping Venue tidy
- Clearing up afterwards
- Thank you letters
No. 2 Make a master Check list
you can put somewhere easy to see – when in a panic you can find it easily for reassurance
No. 3 Confirm Venue
This caused a bit of a panic. I had phoned and booked the hall. But when it came to paying a deposit neither Macmillan nor myself could make contact. Turns out the bookings secretary had changed. Once that was sorted, we have our Venue confirmed. Phew!
No. 4. Committee
I start asking friends if they can spead the word. Will need as many as possible to get people there. I have a small committee meeting of friends, and not only does one bring a lovely box of Bendicks Bittermints (yum!) but lots of offers to distribute flyers.
No 5. Flyers
Macmillan offer to print these for free, and distribute to their mailing list. Cross fingers my nightmare of no-one turning up won’t happen!