Specialist classes designed to help patients to overcome problems associated with treatment for breast cancer are about to launch at Colchester Hospital thanks to the help of charitable funding.

The sessions have been funded with a £6,000 donation from Art for Cure and the support of Colchester & Ipswich Hospitals Charity.

They are run by a qualified instructor and are designed to help tackle some of the common problems associated with treatment for breast cancer, which can include pain, stiffness, lack of strength and restricted movement.

The classes will be offered to everyone who receives treatment at Colchester Hospital, which is run by East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT). They will be held in the cancer information and wellbeing centre.

Louise Smith, ESNEFT’s Macmillan deputy lead cancer nurse, said: “We are incredibly grateful to Art for Cure and the Colchester & Ipswich Hospitals Charity for their generous donations.

“These breast exercise sessions have made a real difference to patients at Ipswich Hospital, where they have been in place for some time. It’s fantastic news that patients at Colchester will now also be able to benefit, and receive valuable peer support at the same time.

“Exercise is really important before, during and after treatment for cancer as it helps to support recovery and prevent recurrence. The sessions include exercises designed to address the side effects of surgery or radiotherapy while improving people’s posture, range of movement and shoulder and upper back strength so that they can get back to doing the things they enjoy more quickly.”

Belinda Gray, founder of Art for Cure, said: “Art for Cure is really delighted to see these exercise classes developing at Colchester Hospital, as we have seen their huge benefit through our support for classes at Ipswich and Felixstowe. They also naturally become a support group for women who have been through a very difficult period and this aspect is as beneficial as the exercises.”