Fighting Fit Profile
The Fighting Fit programme, run by Lincoln City Foundation, supports those living with cancer to be active. The project was a finalist in the Health & Wellbeing category at the Lincolnshire Sport & Physical Activity Awards 2022.
We spoke to Alice Carter, Head of Healthier Communities at Lincoln City Foundation, to find out more about the project.
How did Fighting Fit come to be set up?
Working with partners, an initial need was identified in Lincoln for physical activity support for those living with cancer - the mortality rate for people with cancer in Lincoln has risen again and is now the worst in our nearest neighbour group (Lincoln City Health Profile 2021-2022). Previous physical activity programmes supporting those living with cancer in Lincolnshire had ceased. Other football club Foundations deliver successful cancer rehab projects, which we felt could be replicated and adapted for Lincolnshire.
The pilot programme was supported through a grant from the Tackling Inequalities fund (now Together Fund) distributed through Active Lincolnshire.
What are the benefits to participants?
There are many benefits of physical activity to those living with cancer, whether going through treatment or in remission. A big impact of the project is the improvement of mental health and self esteem, as well as supporting physical health.
Physical activity can increases strength, cardio vascular health and boost energy levels. Sessions can help with the side effects of any treatment participants might be going through, as well as with rehabilitation and building back strength. Participants can also benefit from enhanced sleeping patterns. The social connections and peer to peer support created are an important part of the sessions as well.
Due to the efforts and patience of the coach, my Doctor, friends and colleagues have all noticed many health improvements including my high blood pressure is nearly at normal, varicose veins have disappeared and my arm has near full range of movement...
...I am so grateful to the foundation for setting me in the right direction and I will endeavor to continue on my journey.
- June, Fighting Fit Participant
What are the main successes of the project?
Since launching, the Fighting Fit session in Lincoln has attracted 59 referrals. This has been reliant on developing referral pathways & relationships across the health sector including Cancer Care Coordinators, Clinical Nurse Specialists, Macmillian Support and ULHT Prehabilitation Team. The programme is also guided by a steering group consisting of representatives from the NHS Integrated Care Board. Across the last year, highlights of the programme have included presenting the project at the Lincolnshire Cancer Summit held at the University of Lincoln (watch the presentation here) and gaining additional funding from Lincolnshire CCG to enable the countywide expansion of the programme.
What are your plans for the future?
We have recently expanded to Mablethorpe and are continuing to grow the programme by bringing sessions to Gainsborough and Boston this year.
Anyone wanting to take part in the programme can find a referral form on the Lincoln City Foundation website.
Read more about the Lincolnshire Sport & Physical Activity Awards, and our 2022 winners here.