Caring is Sharing

Introducing, our Caring is Sharing Group Support Programme.

Earlier this year, we were delighted to secure vital funds from the Department of Health through Community Foundation for Northern Ireland to enable us to create a dedicated group support programme for those affected by cancer across Northern Ireland.
The team have been working hard to develop a programme to provide crucial support and help to adults affected by cancer, either via diagnosis, a loved ones diagnosis or bereavement.
Beginning in January 2022, our Caring is Sharing programme will offer a range of support services and groups including art therapy, healthy cooking, walking & yoga as well as our aromatherapy, massage and reflexology services and vital finance & benefits advice for any adult affected by cancer across Northern Ireland.

The Charis Cancer Care, ‘Caring is Sharing’ Support Programme, is a 6-month group support programme created to help support adults affected by cancer; including individuals with a cancer diagnosis, palliative cancer care patients, their loved ones and individuals bereaved by cancer.

The programme is made up of a combination of one-on-one counselling sessions and a range of group support workshops & activities. Clients are encouraged to take part in group sessions to experience the full benefits of the programme.

Group sessions include a choice of yoga classes, art therapy workshops, healthy cooking workshops and mindfulness walking groups. Each group will also have monthly scheduled group counselling sessions, as well their one-on-one counselling sessions and access to a financial advisor to provide advice and support on managing the financial impacts of a cancer diagnosis.

During the 6-month programme, clients will have the opportunity to avail of 10 complimentary therapy sessions each at Charis Cancer Care Centre.

Clients will be asked to complete regular feedback and evaluation forms to help us continuously review and improve the programme, so that we can support you better.

What does it involve?

Individual Counselling

At Charis, our counsellors provide a secure, confidential, and caring environment for you, so you can explore your thoughts, feelings, and emotions in complete confidence and without judgement. This can help you any feelings of being alone, or unable to cope or process what you are going through.

Counselling can enable and power you to find and use the resolve and inner strength to manage more effectively. Some people with a cancer diagnosis may find it difficult to talk to family, friends or supporters – this can be completely normal. Some people may describe putting up emotional barriers to protect the ones close to them, and counselling may help deal with this or any issues that could arise. Our counsellors understand what you may be feeling, and their role is to help you with any difficulties you may be experiencing.

Financial Advice

We can provide advice and practical help on benefits entitlement and guidance on financial support

As well as the physical implications of cancer which can be seen there can be the hidden financial impacts which can cause additional stress and worry

At Charis, we can carry out a benefits entitlement check and help signpost you in the right direction for help with regard to the additional financial implications brought about by your diagnoses.

For example:

  • We will find out when you can pause repayments for bills like mortgages and tax debt.
  • Get help to work out how much money you owe and which debts you should pay back first.
  • Provide guidance on drawing up a budgeting plan to help with your bills.

Our Benefits Support advisor will help you complete benefit applications both paper based and online forms.

All this help and more can be done by telephone or face to face

We also provide this service to those who have been bereaved by cancer.

All information and help given is treated as strictly confidential.


Group Counselling Sessions

We offer our clients one free group counselling session per month for four months. This groupwork will assist our clients to share their experience, strengths and hopes and foster new potential friendships, in a caring, secure, and confidential environment led by a highly professional counsellor.

In the words of a client “Charis has been a pillar of strength since I was first diagnosed with cancer. They provide a wide variety of sessions to help improve psychological, physical and emotional well-being”


Yoga can be a natural way to help you relax and cope with stress, lift your mood and enhance your well-being. Join our professional yoga instructor for a gentle and relaxing yoga class. Help release any stored tensions and enjoy a calming relaxation and guided meditation at the end of each class.

This class will help you to face adversity with more clarity and strength whilst also gaining confidence through improvements each week. The sessions involve working with breathing, postures, gentle stretching, and meditation.

Art Workshop

There are several studies to show that art therapy is beneficial to cancer clients. Art therapy may be used to promote healing, addressing the physical and emotional needs of the clients. This could allow the client to express their feelings to their loved ones and more importantly to themselves.

Allowing the client to be creative, holding a safe space for them to express their heartfelt emotions through art rather than words. It is also a time for quiet and relaxation at a very emotional time in their life.

Healthy Cooking Workshops

Many people feel they would like to know more about nutrition after cancer has been diagnosed. Healthy eating can improve self-confidence and reduction in fatigue. At Charis we believe that food plays a significant role in our lives. Good food has the potential to be revitalizing, comforting and restorative and is vital for our wellbeing.

The focus on healthy eating and cookery demonstrations delivered to small groups of clients in Charis has several benefits.

A range of dishes are made to educate on the benefits of a balanced diet.Tips are given on how to modify recipes to support dietary guidelines e.g. incorporating more fruit and vegetables into the diet and reducing saturated fat, salt and sugar. The use of labour-saving equipment is incorporated into cookery demonstrations to maximise nutritional content of meals and encourage cooking from scratch with minimal effort.

Skills are demonstrated to encourage quick, healthy meal preparation using a range of fresh and convenient ingredients and ideas/recipes shared with the client groups.

Food which is prepared is sampled by client groups, allowing for social interaction around the table.  Friendships are forged and clients can discuss individual experiences with likeminded people in a relaxed environment. Overall, healthy cooking/eating educates and contributes holistically to the health and wellbeing of clients who use the services offered by Charis.

Mindfulness Walking Groups

Finding out that you or a loved one has a cancer diagnosis can be a distressing experience, often accompanied by a range of different emotions and responses. Relaxation, anxiety management and mindfulness techniques can help you in dealing with the situation.

Mindfulness is an ancient wellness practice that focuses on training awareness, attention, and compassion. Recent research has found that meditation can help to:

  • Reduce stress and anxiety 
  •  Improve focus and concentration
  • Increase feelings of calm and relaxation
  •  Lower blood pressure
  • Ease symptoms of depression
  • Improve sleeping patterns
  • Decrease pain
  • Enhance overall health and wellbeing

Mindfulness is our awareness of what is going on both inside us and around us—the awareness of our physical, emotional, and mental states. Mindful walking is an excellent way to restore a sense of focus and a great excuse to get outside. These mindful walking activities can be done solo, with kids or as a family.

  • Mindful breathing
  • Mindful observation
  • Mindful awareness
  • Mindful listening
  • Mindful appreciation

Mindful walking simply means walking while being aware of each step and of our breath. Mindful walking allows us to be aware of the pleasure of walking. We can keep our steps slow, relaxed, and calm. There is no rush, no place to get to, no hurry.

If you, or a loved one have been affected by cancer please reach out and contact us today on 028 8676 9217 to find out more about and register for Caring is Sharing.