A CANCER support group which is celebrating 11 years of service is relaunching with a new name and logo.

Previously known as Waterlily, the group has now become Ryedale Cancer Support and Social Group to better reflect the friendly and social side of its activities.

A new package of support includes plans for a programme of speakers covering a variety of topics and there are also plans for some social activities that will be extra to the usual monthly meeting, to encourage people to socialise and share interests.

Anyone affected by cancer, whether as a patient, carer or friend, at any stage of the illness, is welcome to come along and meet other people who have had personal experience and can offer support.

Although the group does not provide medical advice, people can share advice and experiences, and also access a variety of information about different types of cancers from cancer charity Macmillan Cancer Support.

The group is also able to direct people to relevant support agencies should they need specialist advice or support.

Group chairwoman Jean Simpson said: “We are pleased to be celebrating 11 years of support, friendship and advice to people affected by cancer in Pickering and Ryedale. We welcome new members to the group and our relaxed approach allows them to drop-in to our sessions as they wish.

“Although we only meet once each month we plan to hold more sessions in future and hope to find more volunteers to help us carry this out.

“We would also welcome donations towards our efforts.”

One group member, who did not want to be identified, said: “Having had cancer on two occasions you really appreciate the skill of medical professionals, but it is perhaps as important to have a layperson to help you through the experience.

“It is also essential for your close relatives to be able to discuss their concerns and gain comfort and support when they can feel so alone and helpless.”

The group meets on the third Tuesday of the month in Pickering library, from 10.30am to 12.30pm. The next meetings are on February 18 and March 18.

The meeting on Tuesday, April 15 will be held in the WRVS Centre, Hungate, Pickering, from 2.15pm to 4.15pm.

People are invited to attend one of the sessions to find out more about the support group’s work, or email peterja66@yahoo.co.uk