Issue 1June 2018

Laryngectomy Group - one of many offering extra support

We have recently set up a new group for laryngectomy patients providing holistic support. It brings patients and our staff together to share experiences and support each other.

Here's more about it.

Why was it set up and what are the benefit of it to patients?

Macmillan’s recent Recovery Package Initiative highlights the importance of meeting people’s holistic needs. On a daily basis we encounter laryngectomy patients who are feeling isolated and low in mood.  We wanted to create a space where they could connect with one another, share ideas and offer emotional, practical  and social support. More people than ever before are living with and beyond a cancer diagnosis. The impact of cancer does not suddenly stop when the treatment is over.

Who is it for?

The group is open to anyone who has had a laryngectomy and their significant other.

What happens at the group?

We meet every six weeks. There are practical sessions, for example, exploring ways of breaking down social barriers to communication or looking through new products together. There are educational sessions, such as how to manage travelling abroad with a laryngectomy and most importantly we provide tea and biscuits and a place where people can communicate freely and make new friends.

What role do our staff have in it?

The group is facilitated by the Macmillan Specialist Speech and Language Therapist, Anne-Marie Smith, with the help of Zoe-Anne Robshaw, Macmillan Cancer Nurse Specialist, and Catherine Hawkes, ENT Specialist Nurse. Occasionally, guest speakers are invited from places such as the Yorkshire Cancer Patient Forum and from Medical Companies that make specialist products such as speaking valves.

How many patients a year are diagnosed?

It varies. We currently have 25 patients open to us.

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Vanessa Henderson is our Membership and Engagement manager.

Contact her on 01484 347342 or email her at
This newsletter has been compiled jointly by the Membership Office and the Trust’s Communications team.