As a Macmillan Community Wellbeing Officer (CWO) here at Wellbeing Enterprises (WE) I work and support people in the community living with and beyond cancer.

My role as a CWO is focused on providing people with one to one holistic support, which tackles their individual needs through community support, such as WE’s array of free social prescribing courses and day trips. WE’s social prescribing courses provide people with an opportunity to connect with their community, learn new skills, build confidence and meet new people.

My day began in Garston at Springwood Heath Primary School, one of the many clinics we run in the Liverpool area, which saw me provide one-to-one Wellbeing Review appointments. This morning I met Mary*, a lady who has recently been diagnosed with secondary breast cancer. Prior to the appointment, Mary was very reluctant to accept any support, as she is an incredibly independent lady. Mary expressed a range of concerns, including struggling with self-care, housework and grocery shopping. I discussed these concerns with Mary and made a few suggestions of different types of support that I could help put in place. I signposted Mary to her local One Stop Shop, to apply for a blue disability badge, which will make tasks such as grocery shopping much easier.

Mary explained that after her husband passed away she did not have a support network around her, meaning she had become very isolated and lonely. I suggested attending a support group, or possibly going along to one of our social prescribing courses, however, she was currently uncomfortable with the idea of a group setting. As part of the ongoing Wellbeing Review process, I will meet with Mary again in 4 weeks, to discuss any progress she has made or any further support we could put in place for her. At the end of the appointment, Mary expressed her most sincere gratitude for taking the time to talk to her, emphasising the important of the 45-minute, one-to-one appointments that we provide and we’re both looking forward to catching up in four weeks.

I spent the afternoon at the iconic Liverpool Central Library, overseeing the first session of our Living Life to the Full (LLTTF) course. This course is based on cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) techniques, encouraging people to learn new skills which help turn negative thinking patterns into more positive ones. This course allows for people to share experiences in a safe, supportive environment and helps boost low mood and decrease anxiety. Despite being very reserved and quiet throughout the entire session, Katie*, shared her thoughts on LLTTF, explaining that she found it very beneficial and is feeling more confident about returning to our second session next week.

As a Macmillan Community Wellbeing Officer, I am privileged to work with people affected by cancer. In my position, I am honoured to help empower people to feel in control of their lives, particularly during a time of such uncertainty. It is very humbling to support people affected by cancer, whether that be connecting them with services in the community, or simply being a friendly face to chat to – all of which, has a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of the people I work with.

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