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Tea & Talk at Toby's funded for another year

Saint Francis Hospice cancer survivors support group 'Tea & Talk at Toby's' received a generous £1,000 donation from Brentwood à Becket Rotary club at their monthly meet up on Monday,

The group is for people affected by cancer and meets at 10 am on the first working Monday of every month in Toby's Carvery in Brentwood.


Mr Greg Roberts, Chairman of the Community, Social and Voluntary committee with the rotary club said "Brentwood a Beckett Rotary rotary club has been involved with this group since the beginning, our member Anne Bender was involved in founding it and we gave a donation towards the initial set up costs.


"The decision to continue funding was not a difficult one. I came along to the group 2 months ago and was so impressed by the work they were doing that when I took the case to the committee the decision was passed by a unanimous vote.


"The Brentwood a Beckett rotary club wants to see this service maintained and developed for the people of Brentwood and the surrounding areas"

Group pic


The group is open to anyone living with cancer and their family and friends who have been affected by the diagnosis regardless of where they live. The group is facilitated by staff and volunteers from the Saint Francis Hospice OrangeLine service.


Karen Freeman OrangeLine Project Co-ordinator said "There were 7 people at the first meeting in September 2016, today we have a group of 20, with 9 people coming for the first time so we couldn't be happier or prouder of how the group is growing."


Amanda (Alen) and Jennifer (Heywood) 2 of the newcomers had travelled separately from their homes in Romford.  Amanda says "having cancer is already a daunting experience and you don't want to go anywhere that gives you a negative experience so when I got here and Karen & Anne were so welcoming it put me at ease."


Jennifer says 2once you have been diagnosed with cancer you are never out the other end, you just need time because every niggle or pain is a concern, you wonder is it related to the cancer.


Even though I am finished my treatment, I still tear up when I talk about it, but it really helps to talk, especially in a supported environment like this."


David Jobbins (Kelvedon Hatch) has been coming to the group since it started he says 'you have the opportunity to talk about anything, we move seamlessly from conversations about newspapers and current affairs to discussions about symptoms and care.


The fantastic thing about this group is that it's about getting and giving support, we are all equal here.  We are all trying to reconcile ourselves with a very daunting experience, coming here is now an important part of my month, it's an opportunity to socialise, to find mutual support and to talk in a supported environment.


The longer I come the less I talk about my condition or care; I have created friendships here now"