Sunday, 9 October

Oxfordshire Prostate Cancer Support Group

Newsletter October 2016

With great sadness we report the deaths of four members of OPCSG.  Dave Hewson, who died in late July, had been a member since the early days of the group and will be remembered for pithy and amusing contributions to discussions at meetings.  Gwilym Mason died on 28 August after a long battle with the effects of his cancer.  Together with Ruth, Gwilym was a member of the Committee for two years.  Their experience and wise words made a significant contribution to the running of the group, and they both gave generously of their time attending awareness events to spread the word among the public.  OPCSG was well represented at a celebration of Gwilym’s life on 9 September.  Our sympathy is extended to Ruth, their sons Huw and Tom, and to Dave Hewson’s family.  We have also been informed of the deaths of more recent members, Michael Dollin and David Redman.  We extend our sympathy to their families and friends as well.


At the AGM next March we shall be needing to fill at least three vacancies on the Committee, including the vital role of Secretary.  If you are able to contribute to the planning and decision making of the group, as well as running events, we are eager to hear from you.  To get an idea of what is involved, you’d be welcome to attend a Committee meeting before March.  Please contact me or talk to a Committee member to find out what is involved.  Without new volunteers the Group’s work may not continue.


Monday 17 October: Amanda Holdstock from Coloplast will talk about incontinence issues and the use of the “alternative to pads” Conveen Sheaths.  Please come along to hear and to discuss, and as always, bring a raffle prize if you can.

Saturday 10 December: skittles evening.  7.00 for 7.30 p.m. at The Ferryman, Bablock Hythe, OX29 5AT.  The return of our popular winter social event.  An evening’s fun in the skittle alley, with chicken/sausage/fish and chips, or vegetarian alternative for £8.95.  If you would like to attend please contact John Goldsmith, 01865 580152 with your choice of meal.

NB If using sat nav to find the pub, make sure you are on the correct side of the river.  Approach from Northmoor/Stanton Harcourt, not Cumnor.  If you approach via Cumnor, the sat nav will tell you that you have reached your destination – but the river will be between you and the pub!


Cancer Research UK 2016 Oxford Open Day, Saturday 15 October 11.00-15.00 Richard Doll Building, Old Road Campus, Headington, OX3 7LF.  Many OPCSG members attended this fascinating event last year.  Find out more about the life-saving cancer research happening in Oxford, from new breakthroughs in the lab to cutting edge clinical trials.  Meet CRUK’s scientists, doctors and nurses and discover how researchers in Oxford are working together to discover and pioneer new treatments. 

Free and open to everyone.  Register for your place online at  If you have any questions please contact  If you have no access to the internet, please ring me on 01865 730110 and I will arrange to reserve a place for you.


Would you like advice on transport in your area?  Do you need to go to a health appointment?  This service provides free journey planning and advice for people over 65 and those with a high level of support needs.  Please contact 01865 323738 or email


Their volunteers will attend medical appointments with you or assist you to find out what practical help is available.  The service is free, independent and confidential.  The volunteers are Macmillan trained and have been affected by cancer themselves, either directly or as a carer.  See, tel. 01865 230203, email


Mary Mountford-Lister, who works on the Macmillan bus which you may have seen in a marketplace near you, talked to the group about the work of Macmillan in the community, and introduced and led discussion on the role of partners in supporting men with prostate cancer.  Among many fascinating insights she said that among all cancers, prostate cancer produces the biggest challenges for patients deciding on a course of treatment after diagnosis.  This matches the experience of the OPCSG advice line, where the greatest number of calls comes from men facing treatment decisions


We have been approached by a researcher at Ulster University whose research is seeking to explore the unique psychological, emotional and social needs of Black African and Caribbean men after prostate cancer treatment, and how current services can be improved or new services developed to address those needs. The research team will also like to find out partners' unique needs and how they can be addressed.  Ethical approval is in place for this study and no physical or financial burden will be placed on potential participants who agree to participate in the research. As Black African and Caribbean men are currently underrepresented in this research area, we are very keen to help to make their voices heard in order to appropriately tailor support services to meet their unique post treatment needs.

Any African Caribbean men who have had prostate cancer and would like to contribute to the research are invited to contact Olufikayo Bamidele, Ulster University, Tel: 07438 554864 Email:

If you no longer wish to receive this Newsletter please let me know on or 01865 730110.  For news updates keep an eye on our website at

John Grundy

Chairman, OPCSG