Spire Hartswood Hospital in Brentwood has launched a peer support group with a twist for its patients with cancer.
The group – appropriately named Inspire – has a focus firmly on socialising and having fun, and celebrated its launch with an afternoon driving the latest Aston Martins and Jaguars around Brentwood, courtesy of The Grange garage on Brook Street.
Inspire is the brainchild of breast cancer care nurse specialist and deputy matron Alex Edghill. Alex explains, “I’ve been caring for people with cancer for many years. It has long been a wish of mine to develop a support group with a focus on enjoying life; made up of people with different cancers, at different stages, giving support to each other through friendship. We’re very grateful to The Grange for allowing us to drive fast cars for our first event!”
The launch party was a double celebration as Clare Husband from Macmillan Cancer Support attended to congratulate Spire Hartswood on its award for its breast cancer care and oncology services. The Hartswood was the first private hospital in Essex to receive the Macmillan Quality Environment Mark (MQEM) for its oncology service and was the first private hospital in the UK to receive the award for both oncology and breast cancer care services.
Cancer patient Graham Willingale, 65, of Billericay, one of Inspire’s founder members, said, “ I’m delighted to be part of the Inspire support group, which I’m sure will make a positive difference to all those who are part of it. I believe that, by focusing on having fun, the group will provide a unique way of delivering help and support to all those who need it.”
Eight group members were treated to test drives of Jaguar and Aston Martin cars throughout the afternoon, followed by afternoon tea at Marygreen Manor.