Arts-based Radiotherapy initiative returns to Oldham library this Saturday

Reporter: Jess Reeves
Date published: 08 April 2019

Oldham residents are invited to experience real-life stories of radiotherapy told through visual arts, spoken word and poetry at a free event with local patients and health researchers.

Artists from the Manchester-based arts and theatre organisation Contact will also be on hand to help you tell your own story on the day.

Launched in January 2019, the project has led a number of creative workshops to help local people who have experienced radiotherapy, either as a patient, friend or family member, to share their stories in different ways, raise awareness of radiotherapy as a modern treatment for cancer, and overcome any fears and anxieties around it.

Led by The Public Programmes Team, radiotherapy researchers at the NIHR Manchester Biomedical Research Centre (BRC), and creative practitioners Nathaniel Hall and Lara Veitch, herself a former radiotherapy patient, this latest workshop will showcase stories from previous participants and offer new visitors the chance to take part themselves.

Watch– videos from previous sessions
•    My Radiotherapy Experience - Kim’s story
•    Radiotherapy & Research - Dr YeePei Song

Jackie Walsh participated in the previous workshops and is a former radiotherapy patient at The Christie centre at The Royal Oldham Hospital. She said:

“At the start of the project, I was way out of my comfort zone. I don’t really see myself as an arts and crafts type but I’ve really enjoyed this and I’ve also benefited from hearing everyone else’s stories.”

“I hope that our stories will take away the fears that people may have about the treatment. It’s good for people to hear about radiotherapy from people who have experienced it as well as the health professionals.”

Professor Ananya Choudhury, Chair and Honorary Consultant in Clinical Oncology at The Christie, runs radiotherapy clinics at The Royal Oldham Hospital. She said:

“Radiotherapy is a vital treatment - around half of cancer patients who are cured receive radiotherapy as part of their treatment.  We want to raise awareness of radiotherapy, as well as the research we are doing to improve the treatment’s benefits and minimise side effects.”

“We believe a really powerful way to engage people is through the first-hand stories of patients who have received radiotherapy.”

The session is open to all and refreshments will be available. There is no need to book in advance.

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