A SUPPORT group, which aims to encourage cancer patients and their families to live in active life, is celebrating its third anniversary.

The Harwich 5K Your Way, Move Against Cancer initiative was launched by ambassador Elspeth Knott as a hub to help everyone touched by the diagnosis.

As a national programme, it aims to motivate those living with and beyond cancer, their loved ones and those working in cancer services to walk, jog, run, cheer or volunteer at a local 5k Your Way park run.

The Harwich group meets on the last Saturday of the month at Cliff Park in Dovercourt.

Elspeth was diagnosed with breast cancer 20 years ago and is now determined to help everyone who has been diagnosed with the disease.

She said: “It was a huge shock as I thought I had lived a healthy life - non smoker, a vegetarian and a fit marathon runner.

“I had no idea what to expect, and no-one to turn to for help.

“I know how much it helped me to get out in the fresh air and run.

“You can have 101 problems and think about them on the way round, but by the time you have finished your mind is at rest.”

The group has gone from strength to strength in the past three years and is always welcoming people from all genders, ages and stages of their cancer journey.

And for those who are simply wishing to find emotional support, Elspeth is more than happy to inspire them with her own story.

She said: “It is important to remember that although the cancer patient needs support, so does the family because they are left worrying not knowing how to help.

“So the group offers a session where you can just talk to other people.

“You can walk, jog run, or just stand and cheer.”

But for Elspeth “movement is medicine”.

She added: “I have found a quote by professor Prue Cormie which says ‘If exercise was a pill, it would be prescribed to every cancer patient’.

l Visit Harwich 5K Your Way, Move Against Cancer on Facebook for more information.