Flames of hope at support group

Photo Neil Cross
Lynn Ogden, Pam Whitaker, Julie Dean and Cheryl O'Sullivan of the Pink Flames breast cancer support group at Wesham Fire Station
Photo Neil Cross Lynn Ogden, Pam Whitaker, Julie Dean and Cheryl O'Sullivan of the Pink Flames breast cancer support group at Wesham Fire Station

A new group set up by and supporting survivors of breast cancer has found an unusual home for its meetings – and a name to match.

The Pink Flames meet twice a month at Wesham Fire Station, Fleetwood Road, for a mix of chat, advice and refreshments with guest speakers and an emphasis on enjoying some good company.

Organiser Cheryl O’Sullivan said: “Breast cancer and its side-effects kidnapped me over the last three years and I needed help and encouragement to get me through. 

“I found this in a support group, but had to travel out of the area. 

“I wanted to give something back to help support ladies recovering from breast cancer locally and we approached Wesham Fire station. They promote community awareness and they were very happy to provide a room to help and support ladies in our community.

“Pink Flames seemed such an appropriate name for the group.”

Wesham Station crew manager, Fraser Smith, said: “As we are a retained station and the firefighters live or work locally, we will always try to actively engage with the community and support them where possible. 

“The station hopefully provides the group with an unusual meeting place, which adds a touch of interest for the ladies and we are glad they have embraced this with the name Pink Flames.” 

The Pink Flames have also been supported by the Lancashire Wellbeing Service, who work across the county to help residents deal with issues affecting their quality of life.

The service is funded by the County Council and encourages people to make positive changes to deal with aspects of their life – causing them to feel anxious, stressed, isolated or simply overwhelmed.

Pam Whitaker, of the service, said: “We support a wide cross-section of people who come to us for any number of reasons including their health, finance, mobility, sense of isolation and when I was introduced to Cheryl I wanted to help her launch and promote this wonderful idea.

“I approached Fraser at Wesham Station and here we are. 

“The Lancashire Wellbeing Service helps many community groups like the Pink Flames and working closely with the public health sector we’re looking to help as many people as possible make a real difference to their lives.”

At the most recent meeting, one of the women was demonstrating a range of paraben-free cosmetics, specially suited to cancer patients.

The Pink Flames group will be supporting the Breast Cancer Care Big Pink fundraising event, in October – breast cancer awareness month.

The next two meetings of the group, at the Wesham Fire Station, are on October 6 and 21, at 10.30am.

Car-parking is free and new members are always welcome to attend.

For further details about the Pink Flames group search for their page on Facebook, or call Cheryl on 07500 334092. 

For information about the Lancashire Wellbeing Service call 03450 138208 or visit www.lancswellbeing.co.uk