Cancer Survivor Champions

Could you lead sessions for people with cancer on how to eat healthily?

World Cancer Research Fund's (WCRF) Cancer Survivor Champions programme aims to improve the quality of life of cancer patients by providing valuable nutrition and exercise advice, and helpful information on how to safely manage the side-effects of cancer and cancer treatment.

We're training volunteers who have also been through cancer in our nutrition and exercise advice for people going through cancer treatment. After completing their training, the volunteers deliver sessions to cancer support groups in London and Birmingham, with the assistance of a health professional.

Survivor Champions share expert knowledge on how to help patients eat healthy, nutritious food throughout their cancer treatment and beyond. They also share personal experiences about living with cancer and guidance on how to use WCRF's tools and resources.

Melissa Mogor, WCRF's Public Health Adviser, is leading this project.

Please get in touch with any questions you have, or just for a chat about what's involved.

t: 020 7343 4200

e: m.mogor@wcrf.org

Peer to peer advice

I’m Melissa Mogor, WCRF’s Public Health Adviser, and the Cancer Survivor Champions project has really opened my eyes to the reality of living with cancer.

Working on this programme has provided me with a deeper insight into the impact of cancer on areas that we, as a research-based charity, do not often address.

Listening to people in the support groups really highlighted the importance of involving loved ones throughout your journey. This often helped provide relief for patients in several ways, which allowed them to focus more on implementing healthier behaviours to help them live well during cancer.

Feeling the pressure

People also experienced other life pressures which often prevented them from focusing on getting well. Such pressures ranged from unfair work dismissal cases, and having to hide their health status, to concerns about the decreasing quality of their children’s class work stemming from worries over their diagnosis. These issues are best discussed with people who have lived or are living similar circumstances, which is why our Champions project is so important.

A valuable tip I picked up throughout this programme was to be mindful of the cutlery you use! As people living with cancer often experience taste changes including a ‘metallic taste’, we recommend incorporating spices like cinnamon, using non-metal pots, pans and cutlery, and avoiding canned foods. But, as our Champions explained, using plastic or wooden cutlery can also help overcome taste changes – and can be more gentle on teeth made brittle by cancer treatment.

Could you get involved?

The team at WCRF have been supporting our Cancer Survivor Champions with the delivery of their sessions, and our team of oncology health professionals provide the Champions with additional expertise. We’re always interested in hearing from people living with cancer who would consider getting trained up to deliver the sessions. The role of Champion is completely voluntary and WCRF will cover expenses including food and travel.

Benefits of being a volunteer

This programme is a great opportunity to build relationships with health professionals, enhance your skills and use your experiences to positively influence people who are living with cancer. This is a chance to make a valuable and recognisable contribution to the cancer community, with the support of a world-renowned organisation.

After delivering the sessions, you'll receive recognition for your work as a Champion and be given the opportunity to continue working with WCRF if you wish.