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YWCA Encore Lower Hutt


Fri 14 Mar 2014, 1:00pm–3:00pm
Fri 21 Mar 2014, 1:00pm–3:00pm
Fri 28 Mar 2014, 1:00pm–3:00pm
Fri 4 Apr 2014, 1:00pm–3:00pm
Fri 11 Apr 2014, 1:00pm–3:00pm

Where: Hutt Hospital, High Street, Lower Hutt, Wellington Region

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Admission: Free
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Listed by: verity6

Holding up those who are healing – helping breast cancer survivors through support and exercise

For women who have experienced breast cancer, the associated physical effects can be extremely challenging. Side effects from surgery can include physical discomfort, immobility and emotional vulnerability, leaving survivors feeling uncomfortable and lacking in confidence.

Part of YWCA’s work empowering women of all ages involves providing support and empowerment to women who are experiencing or have experienced breast cancer.
Since 2005, the YWCA Auckland has facilitated a free exercise programme called Encore, designed specifically for breast cancer survivors to help them combat the physical effects and aid in their recovery.

Encore is an eight week programme that uses gentle exercise and healthy lifestyle information to increase strength, flexibility and blood flow and reduce the effects of lymphoedema (painful swelling), that some women experience following treatment. The programme will work to relieve these problems through gentle floor exercises, breathing exercises, stretching and pool-based exercises. The programme has been proven to have benefits for all women who have undergone surgery, be it 10 weeks or 10 years ago.

The programme also provides a fun and positive environment for women to find peer support and enjoyment during any stage of their recovery. This gives survivors a chance to connect with others who have endured a similar experience. Beyond that, it helps them to regain a sense of self.

Claire Laurenson, facilitator for the Encore programme in the Hutt Valley, could not rave more about the emotional effect that the programme has on breast cancer survivors who attend. Says Claire, “It gets women together who have had a common experience, one that can be really isolating, and provides them a forum to be themselves, make friendships, and speak their truth. It helps women get back into life.”

YWCA Encore is delivered by local facilitators around the country, many of whom are breast cancer survivors and past participants of Encore. All facilitators are trained and supported by YWCA Auckland and additional funding comes from The New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation, as well as from local groups.

Every woman who has gone through Encore recommends it. Winnie Laban, one such participant, says “I just think Encore’s a fantastic programme, I would recommend it for anyone. It was an opportunity for me to be with other women who were breast cancer survivors, and I looked forward to going each week.”

The programme is free to all women who have had breast cancer treatment, however registrations are essential, as medical approval is required. Visit for more information and enrolment forms or contact Claire Laurenson on 04 970 1222 or