Get an A-Head boost for Birmingham Cancer Support Group

A support group for people who have lost the ability to speak due to cancer has received a boost from specialist health charity Get A-Head.

The support group, for people who have undergone laryngectomy surgery at Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital, received a £1,500 grant from the charity.

Tom Bromwich, Chairman of the Get A-Head Charitable Trust, said:

“Laryngectomy is a necessary but devastating treatment that can leave patients feeling very vulnerable and isolated, so any opportunity for them to meet others in the same situation, while also accessing help and support from specialist professionals she is welcome.

“I am delighted that we have been able to provide a grant towards the cost of hosting the support group and hope it will make a positive difference to patients’ lives.”

The grant money was used to rent a room at the Midlands Arts Center on April 19 and provide refreshments to patients and their family members who attended.

As well as the chance to meet other patients, those in attendance were able to talk to their cancer nurse specialists about any concerns they might have and also get information and advice from a dietician and complementary therapist.

Lucy Grainger, nurse specialist in the modified airway team who helped organize the event, said:

“Patients with laryngectomies have their vocal cords removed due to cancer and often report feeling disconnected from society due to a change in communication, eating habits and body image.

“Patients are well supported after this surgery, but sometimes it can help to have a little extra support without having to make a formal appointment with their medical team.

“The support group was an opportunity for patients to discuss any questions and concerns they may have informally over a cup of tea so that we can reassure them straight away or refer them to more specialist help .

“It was also a chance for them to meet other patients away from a clinical hospital. When you feel isolated, it is vital to know that you are not alone.

“The group recently met for the first time and has been a huge benefit to some of our patients and their mental health, helping to ease feelings of isolation. One gentleman said that he learned a lot from the event, but he also told us that he no longer feels alone. That about sums it up, I guess.”

Get A-Head is a Midlands-founded charity which aims to improve the lives of people with head and neck injuries or diseases, particularly cancer. It supports research, funds the education and training of healthcare professionals, and provides equipment and complementary therapies to help patients live better with their condition and its effects.

For more information about the Get A-Head Charitable Trust, please visit:

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