The Covid-19 pandemic has changed our lives and our perspective on how we live forever. The journey through lockdown and gradual easing has been testing and emotional for everyone, not least those who have been battling cancer at the same time. Cancer patients have suffered delays in diagnosis and treatments and their particular vulnerability during the pandemic has caused enormous anxiety.
A recent study* found that more than quarter of a million cancer sufferers have been struggling with panic and anxiety attacks during lockdown and are now facing new fears about the loosening of restrictions. In addition, patients are finding it harder to connect with vital cancer support services that help them through their difficult journey and help manage anxiety levels.
Look Good Feel Better is the only cancer support charity helping to boost the physical and emotional wellbeing of people undergoing cancer treatment. For 25 years the charity has offered support and an outlet to cancer patients during the most stressful of times through live skincare and makeup workshops in over 140 locations across the UK.
Look Good Feel Better understands the crucial importance of support networks and, with the onset of the pandemic, moved quickly to introduce online versions of their popular workshops.
The organisation has also expanded its offering to include workshops for men and young adults and, at the request of its beneficiaries, is soon to launch sessions covering haircare, wigs and scarves and body image and styling.
Look Good Feel Better’s aim is to support all cancer patients through these hardest of times with some fun, moral-boosting, positive interaction. The new Virtual Workshops help alleviate some negativity whilst giving back a degree of control and raising confidence levels.
*A study carried out by Macmillan Cancer support during the Covid-19 pandemic found that 570,000 people in the UK with cancer (19%) have barely left the house because they’re scared to do so and 270,0000 people in the UK with cancer (9%) have experienced panic or anxiety attacks or even suicidal thoughts because of the virus
Skincare and Makeup
A digital version of Look Good Feel Better’s original workshops. Online group video sessions for 8-10 people, hosted by trained experts, help people combat the visible side effects of their cancer treatment, such as the loss of brows and lashes and skin changes.
Each separate session provides a safe, welcoming and fun environment to learn skincare and make up skills. Most importantly, they also provide an opportunity to chat, ask questions, share experiences and feel supported and connected at this very challenging time.
“It was so helpful to communicate with women in a similar situation. The session was helpful in reminding us how to apply make-up and how to stay hygienic. It was also reassuring to know that there are organisations such as Look Good Feel Better which are still functioning and which are caring for people with cancer. It made a real difference to me and gave my confidence a real boost.
Joanne, attendee of the first Virtual Workshop.
Skin Fitness Workshops for men
In May, Look Good Feel Better introduced new Virtual Workshops for Men, in association with leading professional wet shave expert Mark Sproston, aka The Shave Doctor.
The workshops focus on practical, down-to-earth skincare, shaving and grooming advice, bringing it directly into the homes of men undergoing any form of cancer treatment. They also provide a supportive environment helping people feel less alone, as well as boosting self-esteem.
“I am delighted to be working together with the charity on this very important project. Men are often afraid to reach out and ask for advice, but these Virtual Workshops are easily available to any man undergoing any type of cancer treatment. All you need to do is sign up, join in and you will receive useful, practical tips on how to look and feel your best.
Hair and styling focused workshops launching soon
Look Good Feel Better listen carefully to their beneficiaries in order to provide the services that cancer patients really need. There were many requests for guidance on haircare, wigs and scarf styling to help patients through the often traumatic experience of losing their hair during treatment. New sessions tackling all haircare and headwear concerns are in trial now and will launch later this month. Similarly, cancer treatment can frequently alter body image and many patients expressed an interest in styling sessions to boost confidence. These are currently being planned and will launch later this summer.
Regular workshops for up to eight participants are available by signing up at www.lookgoodfeelbetter.co.uk.