Cancer service grows in support

Members of the Gloucester Breast Cancer Support Group at a pamper day held in June 2018.
Members of the Gloucester Breast Cancer Support Group at a pamper day held in June 2018.

Eight years ago, Gloucester Breast Cancer Support Group member, Denise Reilly thought it would be a good idea to hold a church service for all of those affected by cancer.

Since then, the group has held a service biennially with attendee numbers growing, year on year.

And this year's event, held on Sunday, October 27 at St Paul's Anglican Church Gloucester was no exception.

According to member, Carol Bennett around 100 people attended the service, which is designed to provide an opportunity to anyone affected by cancer a chance to take time out and reflect.

"Every year we get a few more people," Carol said.

"People are really grateful for the opportunity to come together and remember their loved ones."

"The turnout reflects the importance of the event to the community."

Although the event is organised by the breast cancer support group, the Gloucester Prostate Cancer Group is also included.

As both groups support anyone with any type of cancer diagnoses, the service is extended to the same within the community.

For each service, the group tries to get someone recently touched by cancer to share their story.

"There are people there that are going through the journey or know someone who is and it helps them understand," Carol explained.

People who attended the service could write a message to their loved one and attached it to the Living Tree.

The messages are kept in confidence and ceremonially burnt during a meeting with the ashes scattered.

This year, the group has supported about 18 women in Gloucester and continues for provide support for those during their time of need.

The biennial service is an opportunity for the group to provide support to the community on a wider scale, outside of their regular meetings and the other work they do.

The Gloucester Breast Cancer Support Group meet on the first Monday of every month at 2pm in the Gloucester Citizen Centre, 30 Hume Street. For more information, contact president Diana Rosenbaum on 6558 1515 or email