Bowel Cancer Awareness Month starts next week

Almost 43,000 new cases of bowel cancer are diagnosed in the UK each year. That’s nearly 120 every single day. But if caught early, more than 90% of bowel cancer cases can be treated successfully.   

That’s why raising awareness about screening is so important and why The Hangleton and Knoll Project, Macmillan Cancer Support, NHS Sussex and Brighton and Hove City Council – our Act on Cancer Together (ACT) project – are taking part in Bowel Cancer Awareness Month this April.  

We are asking anyone who is aged between 54 and 74 to take up the offer of a bowel cancer screening kit. It’s a DIY kit and is very easy to use. It will be sent to you through the post and comes with easy to follow instructions. The test is hygienic and can be done in the privacy of your own home before being posted back to the NHS.  

The test detects tiny traces of blood in your poo. Even if the test is positive, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have cancer. But it does mean you will be seen by a specialist for further checks.  

Jilly knows what it feels like to have a positive test. She believes it saved her life.  

I did my tests religiously. I had no symptoms and no idea that I had anything wrong with me. When one test wasn’t normal, I had a colonoscopy and I was told I had cancer. That test saved my life. From the moment I was diagnosed, I had the most wonderful support from everyone in the NHS and my Macmillan nurse and her colleagues were absolutely wonderful. I was supported as a person rather than just a patient.

If you aren’t in the age group to be invited to take the test, it’s still important that you know what the symptoms of bowel cancer are. If you think you have any of these symptoms, please speak to a health care professional so you can be checked: 

  • Bleeding from your bottom and/or blood in your poo. 
  • A persistent and unexplained change in your bowel habit. 
  • Unexplained weight loss. 
  • Extreme tiredness for no obvious reason. 
  • A pain or lump in your tummy. 


One in 20 people in the UK will develop bowel cancer at some time during their lives. 

Currently, only 69.6% of people eligible for it do the test. If more people did the test, more lives could be saved. 

As Jilly says:

It’s very scary, having cancer. But my goodness, there is a lot of support there.

Youth Voices: Improving Access to Support Services

The Trust for Developing Communities (TDC) is facilitating a youth peer-research study into improving ethnically diverse young people’s access to support services in Brighton & Hove. 

TDC have recruited and trained a diverse group of young people to design and deliver this research study as peer researchers, working alongside TDC staff. 

The focus of this study is to gather valuable insights into barriers to access and engagement that ethnically diverse young people aged 13 to 19 might face when seeking help from youth support services in Brighton & Hove. There will also be an emphasis on identifying solutions that can increase awareness, reduce barriers, and increase accessibility by shaping youth support services so they always feel inclusive, and a place ethnically diverse young people would want to go, should they ever need to.

This study is being delivered through two research methods: an anonymous online survey, and a small number of focus groups each with around 2-4 young people.

The anonymous online questionnaire is for ethnically diverse young people aged 13-19 living, studying, or working in Brighton and Hove. This short survey takes 5-10 minutes to complete; and asks questions around awareness of youth support services, what might stop or get in the way of ethnically diverse young people using youth support services and gathers their suggestions for making these services more welcoming and inclusive.

As an expression of our gratitude for their valuable insights, participants have the option to enter a prize draw with a chance to win one of four £25 vouchers. The survey is due to close at 9am on Monday 15th of April.

We are asking parents and caregivers of children aged 13-19 years from ethnically diverse communities to share this online survey with their children. You can read more about the research study in this Information Sheet for Parents & Caregivers. If you are happy to share this survey with your child or children, they can click here to access the survey

Looking back at our AGM

Last October we held our AGM at The Brighthelm Centre, celebrating work throughout 2022-23 and our Community Champions

We've been posting the fantastic films that were made to showcase each of our Community Champions. You can watch them all in this playlist, here. Or by clicking on the individual thumbnails below.

TDC Office Coordinator Cerys Evans who managed the event and the creation of the videos, looks back on an amazing evening and especially the awards.

This year, we nominated ten Community Champions for their incredible work. We showcased each champion with a video, showing them at their best. Amber Rose Morgan, our talented filmmaker, helped us film and edit all the videos within just a few weeks.

It was a pleasure to meet of the champions on site while I interviewed them. Each of them greeted us with warmth and kindness. As we went through each of their questions, we heard stories of finding people employment, creating a beautiful garden space, sharing a community arts project, supporting people whose English was a second language, and welcoming refugees into the city.

In my role co-ordinating the office, it’s rare to see first hand how they benefit the community. But it’s undeniable to see the warmth and generosity that each of the champions gave in their interviews, as well as seeing them at working and seeing the photos they shared. Each of them is a credit to TDC and to the city of Brighton and Hove.

Congratulations to each of the champions. You’ve all earned your nomination and award!

New Classes from Friends at BMECP

Friends at BMECP began to emerge in 2023 with the purpose of bringing community activities for BME people back into the BMECP Centre. They had their AGM in October during a combined MOSAIC and Ageing Well Event. Their aim was to increase wellbeing and a sense of belonging for BME people and to be run by BME people. Meetings were held every Friday to get activities off the ground. There had already been a sewing group and it had fallen away so this was one of the key things they wanted. There had also been a yoga class, so this was also a focus.

Members worked really hard to find out who could teach from their communities and where we could get supplies from. TDC supported them in getting the governance off the ground and in getting bids out. By January, sewing classes began every Monday and yoga every Wednesday (both term time only). And very well attended they are too!

Representation was key as one member highlighted:

Doing work in groups: sitting, chatting and sharing, bonding and creating something, helping each other out and showing new ways to do things all creates community. Also, representation is important as this has been missing in other groups.

Welcome to Lunch and Learn

From Maryna Kirpikova

Lunch and Learn was created because many senior members of the Ukrainian community were saying that there was a need of a class for absolute beginners in English and there was another request for such ESOL group from East Brighton community. 

So the first Lunch and Learn 8-week  course ran from the end of May to the middle of July last year at the Whitehawk Community Hub every Monday morning.

This group became quite popular and every time from 10 to 15 people came to the session. After every session participants had lunch together and enjoyed time communicating with each other. For the last session of the course they went on a picnic to the Stanmer Park and had a great time there! New 8-week course started on the 4th September and is  well-liked too!



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