New support for men with prostate cancer in West Norfolk

The Kingsmen Kit to help prostate cancer sufferers Picture: Big C

The Kingsmen Kit to help prostate cancer sufferers Picture: Big C - Credit: Archant

A support group for prostate cancer sufferers in West Norfolk has launched a practical kit for men newly diagnosed with the disease.

The Kingsman Group, which was founded three and a half years ago by Downham Market based Alan Pierce, came up with the idea of the Kingsman Kit and raised the funds to make it a reality.

Mr Pierce said: 'When you are first diagnosed with prostate cancer it can be quite a blow. In addition to accessing emotional support, some practical products to help manage some of the symptoms and a limited amount of information can be very useful and reassuring at a challenging time.'

The Kingsman Kit includes items such as a radar key to allow access to disabled toilets, a toilet card to permit use of toilets in shops and cafes, urinary management products and a Thera exercise band.

'The Kingsman Group was born out of my volunteer work at Norfolk cancer charity Big C,' said Mr Pierce. 'I met several of our original members at a wellness event in King's Lynn and we went on to form the group the following week. Since we began in 2015, we have welcomed more than 50 men affected by prostate cancer. We have certainly found strength in numbers in terms of sharing news, worries, information and knowledge. We also have a good laugh and arrange social events.'

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Tonia King, centre manager at Big C said, 'As centre manager I was very aware of the amount of gents we were seeing with a prostate cancer diagnosis. I was also very aware that the nearest support group for local men was held in Norwich which for many was too lengthy a journey alongside treatment. It was from this need that the idea to form a local support group was born. Alan was great at getting onboard and running with it, with his own personal experience he is a natural at facilitating the group. The members of the group tell us how valuable attending the meetings are for them and report increased wellbeing and feeling less isolated.'

The Kingsman Group welcomes new members. It meets on the first Wednesday morning of every month at The Big C Support and Information Centre in Kings Lynn. It also holds a second meeting at midday on the third Wednesday of each month at the Chequers at Wimbotsham, near Downham Market. For more information call 01553 818737.

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