A SINGING group which brings together people who have cancer or have struggled with the disease has been nominated for a Proud of Barnsley award.

The ‘We Can Survive Singers’ was created by Cheryl Roberts - a trained complementary therapist who was diagnosed with cancer four years ago.

Cheryl, who lives off Huddersfield Road, Barnsley, has been working in cancer care for more than 30 years.

After she was diagnosed with breast cancer, the 53-year-old said she felt like ‘there was so much lacking in social and emotional support’ for patients.

“I set up the group in October last year,” said Cheryl.

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“I have supported people through their journey with cancer but when I was diagnosed, I really saw what was lacking.

“I decided to set up the choir group which would be a sort of safe haven.”

Working with her friend and the charities Creative Recovery and Macmillan Cancer Support, Cheryl received a £5,000 grant from Macmillan.

This helped her with costs such as advertising and room hire.

The choir meets every week on a Wednesday from 6-8pm at St Paul’s Church on Greenfoot Lane.

They sing ‘uplifting songs’ such as hits from the musicals Mamma Mia and The Greatest Showman.

“It really is just amazing to see people when they’re enjoying themselves at the group,” added Cheryl, who is now in remission.

“They seem to forget about the cancer for a few hours. The group and the singing seems to build their self-esteem and self-confidence. The people that go there are blossoming.

“It is not about singing perfectly, it’s about singing for therapy.”

The group has more than 20 members ranging from the ages of 24 to early 80s.

They have sung at a variety of events, including ones for Macmillan and Barnsley Hospice and at other venues. They will next perform at a Macmillan event at Matalan in Cortonwood tomorrow at 11am.

“When we sing, everyone dances,” said Cheryl. “It’s showing that people that have cancer can still have fun and enjoy themselves. We are saying to people who have got cancer there is more to life than cancer.

“I want to live a long life and I want it to be a good one. This is why I run the group, I want to bring the same to others.”

Cheryl also runs the ‘We Can Survive Coffee Club’ which is held on Tuesdays in the community rooms at Asda on Old Mill Lane.

There are two sessions which run on the day, the first from 10-11.30am and the second from 11.30am-1pm.

For more information about both ‘We Can Survive Singers’ and ‘We Can Survive Coffee Club’, contact Cheryl on chezbez1@hotmail.co.uk or call 07791 281879.