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Newsletter No.28 – December 2020

As we move towards the end of 2020 and I think it can be safely said that this year has been like no other. We have become ‘experts’ in public health, pandemics and online meetings. How many times have we heard “you are on mute”, “can you send me the link” and “Mary you have frozen”!. New words have entered the Oxford Dictionary and no doubt moving forward for many  years we will be asking, “what did you do during lockdown?”.

We as a charity have tried to adapt during the year and changed the way we support but we are so looking forward to being able to connect with everyone face to face again in 2021. We are lucky that we have been able to celebrate some positive projects, our Beach Hut, our regular zoom meetings, and the creative writing courses .

We are, on the 21st December celebrating our 100th drop in which will be a good way to end the year.

Looking to 2021 we are planning lots of events, workshops and adding even more ways to offer support.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Donna and Heather who started working for the charity at the end of 2019 and have been incredible this year. Donna for picking up and running with so many aspects of what we do so professionally and I have really enjoyed working with you. A highlight must be the beach hut and online shop, these have made such a  difference. Heather, thank-you for working tirelessly on seeking out grants and funds to keep us going through this unprecedented year. Without these funds we would not have been able to stay connected with so many people or supported them the way we have.

Thank-you also to all our volunteers, committee members and trustees who support in so many different ways.

ALCS – Recipes with Love cook book.

ALCS Recipes with Love cook book. Recipes from local people with a story behind them. Checkout the shop for more photos.

This was ALCS main fundraiser of 2020 and all money raised will go directly to supporting our clients.

Free delivery within 15 miles – please select the local pick up option at checkout.

Beach Hut Update

The beach hut remains available during the winter months. Wipes and gel are provided within the hut and you need to take your own precautions when using it. As the weather is now a lot cooler, please bring your own blankets or throws to keep you snug and warm.

As we are not currently able to have a visitors book we do rely on your quote and photos of your day for our grant applications.

We are now taking bookings via the website until 28th February 2021.
If you would like to book the beach hut – please follow the link below

Please note the Beach Hut is cleaned regularly by our small team of volunteers who may turn up when you have your spot to do a quick tidy up.

Wreath Making Workshop 2020

On Wednesday 9th December we had a lovely Zoom wreath making workshop. Thank you so much Ali from Busy Bee’s at Millers Farm Shop Axminster for her expertise, humour and online teaching. We managed to create a beautiful selection of festive wreaths.

Here is some of the feedback…

Many thanks for a most enjoyable workshop. It looked like everyone really enjoyed it.

I really enjoyed making this wreath and can’t believe how pleased I am with it as I have never attempted one before. I also managed 1 hour of complete relaxation as it was the only thing I could think about.

Thank you for organising this fun evening making our own wreath. So good to see some many of us together.

Great session, good end to a busy day. Thank you, and everyone who had input. It does so much to lift the spirit!

Thank you for my wreath making experience it was great fun and very entertaining and everyone seemed to end up with a very presentable Wreath, Full of Christmas Cheer just what everyone needs in these unsure times Thankyou once again and a special Thankyou to our very Patient Teacher

Thank you very much, forgot to thank the lady that ran it, please say thank you from me – I’m getting so creative

Thank-you to all the volunteers who helped to build the boxes and deliver them to everyone’s door steps. Thank-you to Millers for your help and support, Ali for materials and Suzie for the Quiz.


Online Shop – Cards, Key-rings and CDs

We have special offers available: buy 10 get one free for cards and an offer of free delivery if you spend over £20. We can also arrange local collection or delivery as a free option instead of postage so do take advantage of this offer. Please click the link to browse our items.


Live your Dream – John P. Read
Another year

is almost over.
A new one’s about to begin.
Say goodbye to all the negative stuff.
Move on with the positive things.

Forget those New Year’s resolutions.
They are never what they seem.
Resolutions are no sooner made than broken.
It’s far better to follow your dreams.

Let’s pray for health and happiness
And for peace in the New Year too.
And as those bells ring out at midnight,
I hope those dreams you dream come true.

Barbara Mella – Looking after yourself during the holidays

The lights might be on and the trees might be decorated, but not everyone feels festive at Christmas.

It is perfectly normal to experience ups and downs during the holidays. In fact, with the extra expectations to feel cheery, with the obligation and over-commitment to social plans, with the excesses of extra food and drink many people might struggle.

And this year, many more will with the added worries about our health and the health of loved ones, about jobs and money, about the uncertainty of the future, about what is and isn’t allowed…

So while for many people Christmas and the New Year are a time for celebration, for others it can be a challenging time full of struggles and emotions. You might be feeling anxious, depressed or lonely.

Seeing other people getting in the Christmas spirit (especially on social media), might seem like you are the only one feeling isolated. But over 9 million people in the UK feel lonely, all of different age, gender or background.

You might have people around and yet still feel inexplicably sad, worried, or angry; and your mood and motivation might have dipped while you struggle to go on about your everyday life.

Or you mental health might be aggravated by the extra worries that come with Christmas – tense relationships, financial demands, extra obligations, disruption in routine… so that you might feel overwhelmed and lacking control.

However you might be feeling, remember that there are things you can do to look after yourself and your mental health during the holiday period.

Be kind to yourself. You have had a challenging, unprecedented year and made it through – so well done! Be aware of your internal critic who might also compare yourself to others. This can have a negative impact on your self-esteem. You might need to limit exposure to social media and advertising which can make this worse, by putting added pressure on you to be seen to be having a good time. Notice the judgement and let it go, allow yourself to feel way you do without fighting it, give yourself permission to be who you are and spend Christmas the way it works for you. You are worth it.

Set boundaries. You can say NO to balance your social and family obligations with time for yourself: you don’t have to cook Christmas dinner for the whole family; you can skip the Zoom Chat with uni friends; you can set a budget that’s sensible for presents; etc. It might be helpful to have a ‘script’ ready which recognises the other person’s position, but clearly states your preference. For example: ‘That sounds like fun, but I’m tired tonight and need to get an early night.’

Boundaries can also be applied to the excesses of Christmas: the temptation to over-indulge is everywhere but eating and drinking too much will lead to negative side-effects from guilt or feeling bloated and unwell, to increased strong emotions and worsening of addictions. If you do indulgence, balance it with some exercise and outdoor activity which offer positive benefits to wellbeing.

Have realistic expectations about the holidays – about what you can achieve and about social gatherings. Instead of having a fantasy about idyllic times spend with the whole family, be honest about the challenges of bringing together relatives and friends who might see each other only once a year or already have tense relationships,. Such honestly might help avoid disappointment and arguments.

Organise yourself and again balance what other people expect of you and what is important to you – what do you want to do at Christmas? You don’t have to do everything, and you don’t have to do it all at once. Prioritise what is essential and important so that you can allow yourself to take ‘time out’ if you find your stress levels rising. This can be hard to do with other responsibilities like children, work and Christmas duties, and that’s why planning might help you to have time for what you need and enjoy it. Plan some activities that you like and that you can look forward to outside of the challenges of Christmas, even if that’s just a walk, a tea or a book…

Self care. Taking time to look after ourselves is not a luxury, it is essential. Self care looks different for different people. Some people might find solace in a good book and cup of tea, some might need the exhileration of a cold swim, some other the restorative feeling of Yoga and meditation, some the connection and peace found during a walk in nature. Whatever does it for you, do it. If you are not sure where to start, I strongly believe that there are seven elements which are essential to our health from the most basic: breathing, food, sleep and exercise to the more complex of relaxation, connection and competence (taking satisfaction at doing something) so start with one of those.

Do some breathing exercises, cook a healthy meal, go to bed half hour earlier and with no phone, go for a walk, take 10 minutes to sit and relax with no distraction, make a call to a friend or help with a community project, do something that makes you feel good (knitting, puzzles, carpentry, drawing…)

If all everything fails, and you are still struggling with overwhelming and unmanageable feelings, don’t give up. Sometime just picking up the phone when you feel this way might seem scary, but reaching out and asking for help shows courage and positive intention. There are many charities like Mind or The Samaritans which offer support. If you want to talk to someone local, I have availability for new clients and I offer a warm, caring and accepting environment for you to talk and work through whatever is going on in your life right now.

Barbara will be joining us on the 11th January at our drop-in to discuss breathwork more information can be found at

If you are interested in taking part in one next year please contact us on

Creative Writing with Ninette – Available in early 2021
The first group are really enjoying the creative writing course with Ninette which is about to finish for this term. More information on Ninette and her background can be found on our website.

If you are interested in taking part in one next year please contact us on

Update from Therapist Zoe King

The great news for us is that swimming pools are open again (most anyway!)

We are continuing to run a Covid safe environment at the small, warm, private Peacehaven Pool in Seaton where people arrive for their pool time with swim gear on under their clothes so no need to use the changing rooms or even go into the entrance lobby. The pool can be accessed through the sliding door so that we can step straight from the outside onto the poolside.
Please let Donna or Mary know if you are feeling ready to come and start carefully designed water therapy sessions including exercises to lower the risk of lymphoedema.

On a slightly different note there is a guided visualisation every Thursday on zoom at 11:30 am. It is a half an hour session approximately and focuses on stilling the mind and bringing healing  to the body, please come and join us it would be lovely to have some new faces as the numbers have dwindled a little.

ALCS Donations

If you wish to donate online you can via a one off payment or a monthly donation. Just click the link below and follow the instructions.
Thank you so much for your support.


Amazon Smile

We have signed up to Amazon Smilie so when you make purchases they donate money to us. Please sign up and select us if not already done so

Please help support us by shopping online.  Use easyfundraising to shop with over 3.600 retailers including Argos, John Lewis, ASOS,, eBay, Boden and M&S.

Every time you shop, you’ll raise a free donation for Axminster and Lyme Cancer Support – its that easy!
Start Easyfundraising today!.

Recommended Reading – A diary!

Ok so I do love lists! However it is well documented that keeping a diary or journal is a positive daily or weekly action.

Just writing a list of 3 things daily that you are grateful for can make the whole day more positive.

Keeping a diary and including lots of things to look forward to , a birthday , walking with a friend, a new moon might be a new thing to do this year. There are many styles of diary and journals and a lot of apps as well. I like to write and do bullet journaling . maybe we should have a workshop on journaling next year…what do you think?!

Would you like to volunteer with us?

If you would like to join us, or know anyone who could help us with administration, hosting our drop-in sessions, fundraising etc, please get in touch.

Please email for more information on the roles available and an 
application form.

Dates for your diaryWeekly drop-in sessions – Mondays 2-3pm

Our weekly drop-in sessions have currently halted but we have set up a virtual one on Mondays 2-3pm via Zoom. Please do message us for more information if you have not already joined in or information is posted weekly to clients. We also create an event via Facebook and you can contact us for the code direct should you wish to join us. Please make sure you use your name when login into zoom to allow us to recognise you and allow you onto the session. We swap top tips, exchange some positive stories and support where we can. We also now have weekly slots for meet the therapist where they walk about the treatments they offer and how they offer it, so you have an insight and ‘meet’ the person before you sign up.

Zoom is free to join, just download the app on any device. As with all of these platforms it is recommended to check the privacy settings and unsubscribe to advertising. This should be an option when you sign up if not at the bottom of the confirmation email.

Visualisation with Jane 

Jane will be running a 10-15mins Mindfulness visualisation each week after drop-in.

Monday 21st December- 3.00pm
Monday 4th January – 3.00pm
Monday 11th January – 3.00pm
Monday 18th January – 3.00pm
Monday 25th January- 3.00pm


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