A new type of support group is being set up in Norwich for people who want to help spread awareness of the signs and symptoms of cancer.

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Volunteer ‘cancer awareness champions’ are being offered a free, two-day course on June 14 and 15 in Norwich, where they will learn how to deliver a short talk or information session in a lively and confident style.

They will also learn about signs and symptoms of many different cancers and how to communicate effectively to local groups.

The course has been set up by the Anglia Cancer Network as part of the NHS Be Clear on Cancer campaign.

Dr Gina Radford, public health consultant for the network, said: “Anyone can become a cancer awareness champion, whether you’re a cancer patient or someone whose family or friends have been affected.

“Or you might be someone who just wants to give something back to your community.”

Volunteers can give as little or as much time as they like and they will receive ongoing help and guidance for their role. Travel expenses will be paid.

Paul Lesslie, below, from Overstrand, had the little known oesophago-gastric cancer, which is the subject of a current Be Clear on Cancer campaign because its symptoms – difficulty swallowing or indigestion or heartburn most days for three weeks or more – are not well known.

The 61-year-old hopes to get involved as a cancer awareness champion and said: “I think it’s a really good idea to encourage people who’ve been touched by cancer to go out and spread the word.”

Research by the network has shown that by increasing awareness about the possible signs of cancer, people recognise the symptoms and see their doctor sooner, helping early diagnosis and potentially saving lives.

To book a place on the course, call 01223 566794, email info@cambridgetraining.org or visit www.cancerawarenesschampions.org.uk

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