All members and public including people living with cancer, family members and significant caregivers.
Cancer Connect is an informal gathering over coffee, tea and snacks, open to any adult individuals living with cancer and their caregivers or support person offered in Red Deer and Lethbridge. The casual sessions are facilitated by a Wellspring program leader who will set the tone for ease and openness. These monthly gatherings offer a safe space to connect with others on a similar path and learn strategies for supporting the mind, body and spirit.
What to Expect at a Session
Cancer Connect offers both a safe space for casual exchange and meaningful interaction, as well as structured program content. The program leader is knowledgeable in many aspects of well-being and can provide direction and support as requested. Participants are invited to partake in any way they feel comfortable, be it sharing or simply showing up and being present for others.
Come together and benefit from the mutual understanding, comradery, and genuine acceptance that develops in a setting where wellness is the goal, and everyone’s journeys have familiar scenes. Those who have participated in similar Wellspring programs have expressed satisfaction in:
- having a safe outlet for sharing and expressing emotions
- feeling less alone and isolated
- gaining information, tips and problem-solving strategies
- connecting with others and learning about other cancer support including, Wellspring programs
Benefits and Impact
Wellspring Alberta is supporting more people living with cancer from further away than ever before as a result of online programming and telephone-based programs. Wellspring Alberta’s impact is far-reaching, with a considerable increase in new members from rural and regional Alberta since the outreach strategy began in March 2020.
With online programs readily available for those living with cancer across Alberta, there continues to be a need for in-person support as well. Travel challenges for rural cancer survivors can result in higher financial, emotional and mental costs and may also result in lower quality of life (Fitch, 2021, CPAC, 2014, CPAC 2020, Loughery & Woodgate 2015, Ahmed & Shahid, 2012).
Programming such that is offered at Wellspring has been shown to improve wellbeing and quality of life as well as meet other unmet needs of those diagnosed with cancer (Weis, J. 2003). Through the combination of providing a warm and welcoming space, with an experienced Program Leader to facilitate meaningful conversations and supportive strategies, local Community Connector volunteers to support the program, plus the opportunity for people to connect and share in-person, we hope that these pilot programs in Red Deer and Lethbridge will begin to bridge a gap in non-clinical cancer support services.