Penny Brohn UK

At Penny Brohn UK, we recognise that people affected by cancer need more than medicine. We see each person as a unique individual with their own set of hopes and needs – a whole person made up of mind, body, spirit and emotions.

We are the only charity in the UK to take an integrated whole person approach to cancer support, using evidence-based therapies that work alongside standard medical treatment to achieve the best health and wellbeing.

In 1979, Penny Brohn was diagnosed with breast cancer. She knew that she needed more than medicine to help her cope with her diagnosis and that she needed to care equally for her “mind, spirit, emotions, heart and soul” and with her close friend Pat Pilkington, she set out to look for it.

In 1980 they set up the Bristol Cancer Help Centre. At the time, Pat and Penny’s approach was thought by the established medical community to be on the very fringes of medicine. Today however, it’s recognised widely that our health involves more than just our body and that the mind and body are closely linked. It’s also now accepted that a person living with cancer can do a great many things to support their own health and wellbeing. This mantra is what motivates our work.

Millions of people are living with cancer in the UK and the number is rising every year. The challenge many people face is not dying, but living well. We aim to help people do more than just survive but to live as fully as possible for as long as possible. We provide free support for everyone affected by cancer. With nearly 40 years’ pioneering experience, we understand that cancer impacts every part of a person’s life and the number affected is increasing every day.

The Bristol Whole Life Approach lies at the heart of everything we do. At its core, it is about building resilience into every aspect of life and supporting our immune system – the body’s natural ability to heal and repair itself. Penny Brohn UK’s residential and day courses empower people to have more control of their health and wellbeing, to turning a potentially devastating diagnosis into a powerful life-changing experience.

Our Bristol Whole Life Approach shows that there is more to health than simply what is going on in our bodies and that to be resilient, we need to pay attention to our mental, emotional and spiritual health, as well as our physical health.

Exploring areas like diet, exercise, emotions, relationships and managing stress, our free courses, one-to-one therapies, and group sessions, help people to make small but sustainable changes, whilst nurturing themselves at the deepest level. We help people to manage the impact of cancer through: residential and single day courses at our National Centre near Bristol; Living Well services throughout the UK; one-to-one complementary therapies and counselling service; access to a dedicated helpline; and provision of a range of evidence-based information.

Our support includes: information and advice on healthy eating and the benefits of physical activity; self-help techniques including meditation, relaxation and imagery; body related therapies such as massage and shiatsu; emotional support through counselling and group work; creative therapies such as music and art therapy; and healing.

We also work with those supporting someone with cancer and help them to build their own personal resources.

For more information about Penny Brohn UK visit or call our Confidential Helpline on 0303 3000 118.

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