Monthly Briefing – March 2024

Welcome to our March 2024 monthly briefing. This newsletter’s information has been customized for you, our key group contacts, to use in your own newsletters and communications with your group members. 
We hope you find it useful.
Spring is around the corner. You can almost smell it, can’t you? With Spring comes longer evenings and more time to get out and about—if it ever stops raining!
We have been thinking about getting out and about a lot recently at Tackle Central. 

March is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, and we are all getting out and about to do what we can to raise awareness of the importance of early diagnosis. It would be good to hear what you have done either personally or as part of your support group. 
Below, you will hear from our wonderful Peer Support Coordinator, Mark. Now, six months into his post, Mark has been out and about meeting lots of you and thinking up some alternative activity-based peer support offers. I have been out and about visiting groups and meeting new partners with whom we hope to work to develop more support groups and campaigns and raise awareness. 

We are working hard to prepare a useful and collaborative day for you at our conference in Birmingham on April 16th  If your group has yet to sign up, then please do so here ASAP.

This month marks the end of the funding from the National Lottery, which was awarded in 2019 and commenced in September 2020. This funding has been used to fund the work we have been doing over the past 3 1/2 years.

We hope that you will agree that it has been money well spent. We have grown our network from under 80 groups to 120 groups and gone from 1 member of staff to a team of 5. We have developed a comprehensive package of support for group leaders and organisers, and we have a clear brand and vision ‘To become the ‘go to’ charity for peer support.

We are awaiting the outcomes of our latest funding applications to the National Lottery and Movember and look forward to working with you all to develop our work further. 
None of this could have happened without your continued support, so a big thank you from us all to you. 

As always, it would be great to hear your thoughts, so please do get in touch.

Sarah, Mark, Kelly, Molly and Andrew

This months Hot topics contains information about an opportunity to join a new research study which evaluates whether a gut health intervention could improve outcomes, as well as links to interesting news items that we ask you to share with your group members. 
Download this month’s Hot Topics here

At our last Support Group Leaders meeting, we welcomed several group leaders who hadn’t attended a meeting before. Over 40 people attended the meeting, which was a great turnout. The main topic was an excellent presentation on penile rehabilitation and erectile dysfunction from Darren Breen, Managing Director of iMEDicare.

For those who missed it or if you would like to share the presentation with group members, you can find the link below – enter in passcode Passcode: =!7axD2D

Darren’s presentation starts at 1 minute 40 seconds). Next month’s meeting will be at 7:00 p.m. on April 2nd. It will be an open forum to discuss a range of topics related to peer and group support, as well as get your ideas on future campaigns, etc. 

Click here to access the presentation from March

Celebrating 25 years of Torbay Prostate Support Association

25 years ago this year, a group of 5 men who had recently been diagnosed with Prostate cancer (assisted by their partners) met in Torbay. They recognised that there was a gap in the support that was available (outside of the clinical arena), for local men and their families affected by this terrible disease.  After many meetings, the Torbay Prostate Support Association came into being.                                                  

The main aims of TPSA are to:

  • Provide education and Information about Prostate Cancer and Raise Awareness of the disease.
  • Help to support men and their families whose lives have been touched by Prostate Cancer.
  • Raise funds for specialist equipment and support activities in the local Hospitals.
  • Produce an informative newsletter, social media presence and website signposting people to various support facilities.

Some of the key achievements over the past 25 years have been

  • Receiving the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in 2012
  • Our Founder member, Peter Hosking (who sadly passed in 2022) was awarded the BEM for his charitable work in Raising awareness of Prostate Cancer
  • Raised in excess of £500,000, which has been used for awareness-raising activities and providing vital equipment to both Torbay and the RD&E hospitals.
  • Carried out around 1,200 PSA tests for local men in the past 2 years.
  • Supporting thousands of local men and their families.

Update from Mark
I can’t quite believe I am already in my first half-year with Tackle Prostate Cancer. We’ve been looking into some cool and different ways to bring people together for support, and I thought you might like to hear what we have been doing.

Think everything from sports to cooking and even singing. I got to work with the Harrogate and Ilkley Rugby Clubs to kick off some Walking Rugby groups. It was all about bringing people together and making sure everyone felt welcome. Despite a  few bumps along the way with staff changes and scheduling, things have been super positive, and we’re chatting about what’s coming next. 

Then, there was a chat with the Yorkshire Rugby Club about spreading the word about Walking Rugby far and wide. It ties in with our “Boys Need Bins” campaign, which they were excited to be part of, and they are committed to working with us to get support out there. Plus, we’re brainstorming a partnership with Leicester Tigers Rugby Club, MIND, and Tackle, inspired by what Arsenal Football Club is doing with its Walking Football for Prostate Cancer. We want to build alternative models of peer support, and building stiff through sports is definitely working.

But hey, not everyone’s into sports, right? So, we are also working with the Leeds and Honley Male Voice Choirs about whether they’d be up for mixing choirs with some support for people impacted by prostate cancer. And then there’s the Men’s Pie Club – yep, it’s exactly what it sounds like. We’re talking about cooking up a combination of a support group and a pie-making club.

Finally, we’re thinking outside the box with the Leeds Health Awareness Project. We’re planning a domino tournament to spread awareness of prostate cancer and the importance of peer support in the hope of kickstarting a regular support group. 

So, it’s been six months of getting creative and inclusive to help people affected by prostate cancer, making sure there’s something for everyone.
It would be great to hear what you think. 


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