Great Britain

Kendal woman begins jewellery making with CancerCare

A WOMAN from Kendal who was diagnosed with breast cancer has found solace during the traumatic period by making jewellery.

Charlotte Bangbala, who works for the BBC, is now in remission following her cancer diagnosis in 2019 and subsequent chemotherapy and surgeries.

The diagnosis and treatments had a huge physical and psychological toll on the 37-year-old and she found herself in need of extra support, especially while working from home and caring for a young child.

“I was finding it all very difficult to cope with," said Ms Bangbala. "I didn’t know anyone else my age who was going through what I was experiencing, and I was feeling very depressed."

One of her friends suggested she contact CancerCare and shortly after she was invited for a consultation appointment.

And, after expressing a love for art while receiving talking and physical therapies, Ms Bangbala was referred to the Creative Metals Group at the charity’s centre on Blackhall Road, which is led by professional jewellery maker Rachel Hearne.

“Coming to the groups has provided some of the best support I have had during my illness.," she said.

“Rachel and the other members are fantastic and know what I am going through.

"If there’s a day I am feeling really off they know just what to say.

“I know I can talk and be honest about how I am, without it feeling self-indulgent.

“I am very busy working from home and looking after a young child so it is wonderful to be able to come here."

Ms Bangbala gifts the jewellery she makes to family and friends and has recently finished crafting a silver bracelet.

She also said the classes have sparked a ‘creative explosion’, rekindling her love of art as a result.

“It has definitely unlocked something within me and I am once again loving being creative whether it’s through design, writing or silver smithing,” she said.

Most group sessions are running again with reduced numbers to ensure social distancing.

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