An award winning Droylsden salon is urging Tameside residents to follow its style in helping people with cancer.
35-year-old Wayne Coyle, who runs Tropical Palms hair and beauty in Droylsden with wife Laura, 25, is a Cancer Champion and is urging others to sign up too.
Cancer Champions are ordinary people who want to use their experience and knowledge to support those at risk of developing cancer or who have been recently diagnosed.
The cause is close to the couple’s hearts as Laura’s mum, Pam Nightingale, had breast cancer twelve years ago and was diagnosed with secondary spine cancer two years ago.
The popular salon on Chappell Road is home to Better Days, an official provider of wigs to people battling cancer.
Wayne has signed up as a Cancer Champion, who gets involved with local communities to talk openly about cancer and share important messages.
The businessman said: “I visit cancer groups and try to be proactive. We are here to support people and want to raise more awareness.”
Urging others to join in, he added: “It’s a great cause. At some point everyone is affected one way or another by cancer these days and it takes a strong person to stand out from the crowd and do something. Everyone who contributes and supports people makes it much easier to deal with.”
The family business, which includes hairdressing and barbershop training courses, features the not-for-profit Community Interest Company, Community Cuts, which provides free haircuts for over 60s and other disadvantaged groups in Tameside.
Following this, the couple, who live in Droylsden with their sons Damian, 6, and Freddie, 3, were considering what they could do to help people with cancer when they were approached by Macmillan about the Better Days scheme.
Patients are given an NHS prescription book an appointment at the salon, which can order wigs in a range of styles and colours. Fittings are carried out in a private wig room by a professional hairdresser to give a personal, flexible and expert service. The stylish new look can be a big boost to patients.
Wayne said: “It’s relatively new but is becoming highly successful with a steady stream of clients. We want to be the number one service provider and make Tameside the best option for people to come to.”
Tameside and Glossop Clinical Commissioning Group is backing Greater Cancer Champions in line with its Care Together programme, which includes improving self-care and encouraging healthier lifestyles.
Dr Alan Dow, chair of T&G CCG, said: “Cancer Champions will help spread healthy messages and give invaluable support to enable people to take charge of their wellbeing and utilise services and care closer to home in the community. It’s a fantastic scheme and I would urge more people to become a Cancer Champion.”
The Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership’s Cancer Champions scheme, led by Voluntary Sector North West, aims to sign up 20,000 people. Cancer survival rates are improving across Greater Manchester with the chance of surviving a year after diagnosis up from 58 per cent in 2000 to 69.9 per cent in 2013 with an ambition to increase it to 75 per cent by 2020.
You don’t need to be an expert, just to want to play a part, and it doesn’t take much time. You can get involved by volunteering with a local group, talking about your experiences, facilitating feedback or encouraging people to reduce unhealthy behaviours, visit their GP if they have symptoms and take up cancer screening invitations. It can be as simple as talking to your friends and family about it. The aim is to encourage people to attend screenings, reduce stigma and ultimately save lives. Training resources are available.