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Macmillan Move More Programme in Mid Ulster Inspires £3,680 Fundraiser  

When Bernie Niblock (56) from Magherafelt was diagnosed with cancer, the Macmillan Move More programme in the Mid Ulster Council area supported her to get back on her feet. With the support of her inspirational friend Geraldine Devlin, Geraldine’s daughters Martina, Clare, and Geraldine’s sister Ann who is also recovering from a cancer diagnosis, these fantastic fundraisers have raised £3,680 with a night of music and dancing at The Terrace Hotel for Macmillan Cancer Support.
 
Bernie says, “I was diagnosed with lymphoma in 2018 and had chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment. I was very ill and it’s been a difficult few years for my family. My wonderful friend Geraldine wanted to do something to help and had the idea to have an evening at The Terrace Hotel in Magherafelt to raise money for Macmillan.
 
“I started going to the Macmillan Move More group in Greenvale Leisure Centre about three years ago and just loved it. The programme helps you to get moving again after a cancer diagnosis and I was a regular attendee. It’s a great way to meet new people and get out and about. Unfortunately, lockdown happened and of course the group couldn’t meet. Then my health went downhill again as I was diagnosed with Covid. I was in an induced coma for five weeks and in hospital for nine. It has been a slow road to recovery - I had to learn to walk and talk again and I’m supported by an oxygen tank at the moment.
 
“I’m back at the Move More group again now though. I love spinning classes and I’ve been able to keep doing those even with my oxygen support. Conor, our Macmillan Move More Coordinator is fantastic. He’s so welcoming and so good at his job. He helps me to move at my own pace and I know not to push myself too hard, but to do what I can when I’m feeling up to it. I have regular hospital appointments so I try to work around those and manage my energy as best I can.”
 
“When Geraldine thought about doing some fundraising, I suggested Macmillan as the charity’s Move More programme has helped me so much. It gets you going again, even if you only do something once a week. You meet great people, and it motivates you and stops you from being in a rut in the house. Sometimes it’s easier to talk to people who aren’t family too, they understand what you’ve been through and are a great support. We’re delighted to have raised so much money for Macmillan, and I’d like to say a huge thank you to all of the kind people who supported the event and the raffle. We’ve been overwhelmed by people’s generosity.”
 
Macmillan Move More Coordinator in Mid Ulster, Conor Fox says that Bernie has been through a particularly challenging time and it has been a privilege to help her regain her fitness: “It’s been fantastic to see Bernie back at the group and doing so well. Our Macmillan Move More programme helps people to get active after a cancer diagnosis, and it’s about emotional wellbeing too. Cancer can affect all parts of a person’s life. Bernie is just right about the importance of getting out and about to meet people, and having support to build your strength at your own pace. We encourage people to find activities that are comfortable for them and offer everything from walking groups to gym classes, pilates to circuits.”

Chair of Mid Ulster District Council, Councillor Córa Corry, also said,

At a time when isolation was a real challenge, the spirit behind the successful fundraising event organised by Bernie, Geraldine, Martina, Clare and Ann who came together to raise a substantial amount of money for Macmillan is inspirational to us all. Bernie’s story shows what a great help our Mid Ulster Macmillan Move More programme led by Conor is, in enabling people to get fit and well again after a cancer diagnosis, and the funds they have raised will no doubt ensure that many more receive help and support at an incredibly difficult time.


Joanne Young, Senior Relationship Fundraising Manager at Macmillan in Northern Ireland added, “We can’t thank Bernie, Geraldine, Clare, Martina and Ann enough for their fantastic fundraising. Macmillan relies almost entirely on public donations and the money they have raised makes a huge difference, enabling us to continue providing much-needed services for people living with cancer all over NI. If they have inspired you to do something amazing, find out more today at macmillan.org.uk”
 
The Macmillan Move More programme is delivered in partnership with Mid Ulster District Council, the Northern Health and Social Care Trust, and the Southern Health and Social Care Trust. The programme enables people living with cancer to try out a range of activities, and access incentives including free taster sessions, discounted membership rates and access for family and friends too. To find out more about the Macmillan Move More programme in the Mid Ulster area, call Conor on 077 8868 2163 or email
movemore@midulstercouncil.org.
 
For support, information, or just a chat, call the Macmillan Support Line on 0808 808 00 00, 7 days a week, 8am-8pm, or visit macmillan.org.uk.

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