Support group for those whose lives have been affected by cancer
Primarily run by Mark Smith in Chelmsford, 5K Your Way is a ‘support group with a difference’. The community-based initiative is part of a national network that is set up by volunteers that covers 87 locations. It supports those living with and beyond cancer, their families and anyone’s lives who have been touched by the life-long condition.
The local 5k Your Way parkrun event runs on the last Saturday of every month, encouraging all residents including surgeons and cancer service professionals to walk, run, jog, cheer, or volunteer.
Currently living with cancer, Mark was keen to see the group set up in Chelmsford, and since conception, it has rapidly increased its number of participants. The surgeons explained regular exercise improves individual outcomes throughout their treatment and beyond. The incentive is about modelling, supporting, working together, sharing burdens and achievements, and connecting around cancer and the ways that it affects individuals’ lives.
5K Your Way is inclusive for all and there is no restriction on age or mobility, as there is a role for everyone. The project empowers those suffering with cancer as it enables participants to take control over their health and wellbeing, especially when they are amidst treatment.
Parkrun and Active Essex assisted in the setup of the project, as well as funded branded clothing for volunteers and seating for those unable to stand or need rest. The Find Your Active community connectors supported the initiative through promotion and exposure, and linking with funding opportunity.