Women attending a recent retreat participating in Nordic walking

Jo Taylor, who developed After Breast Cancer Diagnosis, received funding from GMCVO and Greater Sport to pilot her abcdretreat idea, which uses a weekend retreat model to engage women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer in a range of exercise and therapy.

Nine women attended the first retreat in August 2016 and the weekend involved an information session from a Doctor at the Christie hospital, and a range of fun and challenging activities, from yoga, relaxation and massage therapy to cycling at Dovestone reservoir, a run through Castleshaw valley, and a session of Nordic walking. The women were supported by a range of professional coaches. Jo describes the Nordic walking here:

‘After a quick demo and try with the poles, we set off.  It was quite a hard walk and ascent up the hill and then it flattened out a little as we walked over to Alphin viewpoint, to where we could see where we had cycled the previous day.  It had been misty morning but the sun had broken though and the clouds and mist had blown away thankfully!  It was definitely a WOW moment and a great finale to the weekend.  A very emotional moment.’

Jo received wonderful feedback from the retreat: ‘I have had reports of not just increased exercise but more regular exercise, motivation and even weight loss which for some which was a specific goal.  A couple of people have taken up running and it has even spurred others on who have read about the retreat to start exercise!'

One attendee summed it up on Twitter: 'Just home from an amazing weekend in Saddleworth. I have cycled, run, done yoga and Nordic walking. I’ve laughed and held back the tears and made new friends’.

Jo is hoping that this pilot can enable her to develop the abcdretreat to become a social enterprise and deliver more retreat weekends to improve health, fitness and wellbeing for people who are recovering from or living with breast cancer.

Find out more information on the retreat here

If you are interested in further information about any subsequent retreats, contact Jo at jo@abcdiagnosis.co.uk