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Active Together: Kathryn’s experience

Active Together: Kathryn’s experience

“It sounds like a cheesy thing to say but honestly it's changed my life.”

Press Contact

Nick Edmondson


Kathryn, from Stocksbridge in South Yorkshire, has been taking part in the Active Together service after she was diagnosed with gynaecological cancer in late 2023.

Lady in a blue 'Active Together' t-shirt smiling at the camera.

The service, funded by Yorkshire Cancer Research, provides people diagnosed with cancer personalised fitness, nutrition and wellbeing support, before, during and after treatment.

Kathryn explained how she felt after discovering she had cancer in her womb having previously lost her brother and sister to cancer within a month of each other. She said “It was such a big shock. It’s as though everything was going wrong with my body and I just thought, I can't believe this is happening to me now. I was really at rock bottom.”

She was referred to Active Together Sheffield to help her lose weight, “The consultant actually said to me at the moment, there is no way we can operate on you at all. So I’m referring you to Active Together to help you get fit and lose some weight”.

The first appointment includes a basic fitness assessment, including testing a person’s ability to move from seated to standing and a six-minute walking test.

Kathryn explained how she felt when she was asked to do the walking test.

I said I can't walk. But the physiotherapist said sit down if you need to. I just need to know how far you can get in six minutes. And I walked the whole six minutes. And that’s when I thought to myself, I can do this. It’s unbelievable. She was there encouraging me the whole time, and we had a laugh as well.”

Participants have the opportunity to work with staff to design a plan for their care which includes exercises to do at home. The plan is designed to help patients recover from their treatment sooner and build up strength.

Kathryn’s plan included attending chair-based exercise classes where she met other people also going through cancer. She has since joined her local chair aerobics and dancercise classes and swims weekly.

She said: “I really enjoy it. I just love it. And this is all because I went to Active Together from the start and it kind of opened the door for me. It's literally changed my life.

Kathryn talked about how being more active had changed her daily life.

I know it sounds simple, but I can do more things now like clearing the table. Whereas, before I didn't because I just couldn't get up and walk about. My husband’s always vacuumed for the past 18 months. Now, I’ve started doing that again and I've been out in the garden with him. I feel like a different person.”

Kathryn continues to receive support from the Active Together team help her recover as she exercises independently. Active Together also offers dietary support and help with psychological wellbeing. The service is currently only available to people in Sheffield or Harrogate but will soon also be available to people in Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham, Huddersfield, Pontefract and Wakefield meaning thousands more people should be able to benefit.

When asked what she would say to other people offered the opportunity to join Active Together, she said: “It sounds like a cheesy thing to say but honestly it's changed my life. I’d recommend it to anyone. I really would.”