A cancer support group on the Isle of Lewis is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, providing relief and sociable gatherings to its members.
At 2pm every Friday, a group of men from the Outer Hebrides gather at Lewis Retirement Centre, all of whom have been affected by cancer throughout their lifetime.
Angus McCormack, chairman of the group, said: “Initially, we were fearful that we might have to fold, but there is absolutely no danger of that happening now.
“We are a very active and vibrant group with a regular turnout of over 30, which is unusual for men as you would usually associate that with a football match or something.”
The Hebridean Men’s Cancer Support Group (HMCSG) entered its first fully operational year back in 2008.
Mr McCormack added: “The group is really for men to come along and chat with one another. We can reassure others.”
The support group also addresses every new diagnosis in the Western Isles, sending a welcome pack containing introductory leaflets about the group, as well as the benefits available from Macmillan Cancer Support.
A cheque for a sum of money to these newly-diagnosed men is included, serving as immediate practical help to the sufferer and their family with the sudden increases in expenses that follows the confirmation of a serious illness.
Throughout the year, HMCSG sends over 90 packs to newly diagnosed men on the islands.
Malcolm Newton, assistant treasurer, said: “There is absolutely no sniff of a means test in this; we send the same cheque out to everybody.
“Sometimes people will not need it and will return it to us, and sometimes with a cheque of their own as a donation to the group.
“There is a dreadful increase in the occurrence of cancer, so sending out cheques seems practical and is our way of striking back.”
Mr McCormack added: “We welcome any men with any issues associated with cancer to come along on a Friday afternoon.”