Gyn & Tonic is the name of the Gynaecology support group for North Lincolnshire and the surrounding area. Here, Pat Chennells, Macmillan Information Facilitator at Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust, tells us a bit about what they do.
The group has been meeting every month since January 2018 at Robert Holme Hall, Scunthorpe General Hospital. The group was established
following a consultation with ladies with gynaecological cancer led by the Gynaecology Clinical Nurse Specialist and the Macmillan Information Advisor.
The name of the group was chosen by the members who attended the first meetings, obviously a play on Gin & Tonic, the Gyn for gynaecology and tonic because that is what the ladies wanted the group to be. A safe space where they could get to know other ladies going through the same things, a space where they could say exactly how they felt, a space where they could get professional advice in an informal way and, above all, a space where they could laugh and have fun.
There is laughter in all of the meetings, sometimes some tears too, but there is always time for a private chat with another member, the CNS, or the Macmillan Information Advisor.
The group meets on the last Wednesday morning of every month and the programme is quite varied with craft activities, quizzes and speakers usually a topic chosen by the ladies. There is also lots of tea, coffee and biscuits and if you’re really lucky… cake! We have even had a gin and tonic tasting session, non–alcoholic of course!
During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have started meeting using a virtual platform and whilst it has been good to see each other the ladies are desperate to meet each other face to face again as soon as the current situation allows. While they’re better than no meeting at all, virtual meetings simply don’t replace the face to face group meetings we’re used to and we can’t wait until we can safely get together again.
For more information about the support group, contact Pat Chennells. Telephone 03033 305372 and leave a message. On mobile, you’ll catch Pat on 07858 924 283 or email nlg-tr.MacmillanInfoandSupport@nhs.net.
For information on our other support groups, visit https://hcvcanceralliance.org.uk/support-groups/