Mum’s mission to help others

Photo: David Hurst'Cancer patient Sarah Colledge of Crestway, Blackpool, centre, has set up a local cancer charity called 'Positive Peers' with her sisters Clare Cookney, left and Jayne Fort, right.
Photo: David Hurst'Cancer patient Sarah Colledge of Crestway, Blackpool, centre, has set up a local cancer charity called 'Positive Peers' with her sisters Clare Cookney, left and Jayne Fort, right.
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Mum Sarah Colledge is determined to make a difference to the lives of people with cancer.

The 38-year-old has already officially started the Blackpool Race For Life, done a skydive raising money for Cancer Research, and spoken on behalf of cancer patients in the Houses of Parliament.

And now she has set up a charity herself.

The charity, Positive Peers, aims to provide support, help and friendship to people with cancer.

The first meeting, open to all Fylde coast cancer patients, will take place on November 10, between 2 and 4pm, at Staining community centre, on Chain Lane.

Sarah hopes to get the message across about Positive Peers to as many people as possible.

She is applying for a Macmillan Start Up grant and has the charity’s backing.

Sarah was diagnosed with cancer in 2013, after she discovered a lump in her lower abdomen.

At first doctors thought it was a fluid-filled ovarian cyst – but when she continued to suffer pain and illness, following tests, was told she had unknown primary cancer.

She was told most of the cancer was in her bowel and if she didn’t undergo major surgery, her prognosis stood at six months.

Sarah underwent an 11-hour operation, and six months of chemotherapy. But sadly 12 months later, doctors told her the cancer had returned.

Brave Sarah says she is determined to do what she can to help others.

The Blackpool mum-of-two said: “Positive Peers is a group for people who have cancer or who have suffered long-term from cancer.

“A lot of people, when they have cancer, can become isolated and want to go out less and less.

“Cancer can affect people in so many different ways. Often people are left feeling quite vulnerable.

“So we want to give local people something to go out for, something to look forward to, something to be positive about.

“We want to provide a safe place for people to meet, make new friends and have fun.

“And they can be reassured and feel comfortable they are with people who understand how they are feeling, and what they are going through.

“We would love to plan activities like day trips, going out for a day shopping, doing fundraising and so on.

“People can talk about their illness and the issues if they want to, but equally, they don’t have to. It could be nice for members of the group to have the chance to go out, to enjoy themselves, without having to talk about it.

“I’d really like Positive Peers to be about what members of the group want to see, so they can shape things.

“Our committee members are a mix of people, some with cancer, some not.

“My two sisters, Clare Cookney and Jayne Fort, have been a great help and support with getting involved in setting in Positive Peers. And the CVS has been a big help too.

“We are all very excited about it and feel so passionately about our charity.”

Sarah is currently busy working on trying to get funding to pay for the website, leaflets and the room the charity is using.

She said: “Now we just need to promote the charity, and get the message out there to let people know what we doing and to let them know they are welcome to come to our first meeting.”

Visit www.positivepeers.co.uk, email sarah.colledge@positivepeers.co.uk or call 07947 815352.