New podcast will feature patient and fundraiser stories

New podcast will feature patient and fundraiser stories

A new podcast inspired by Friends of ANCHOR will share stories and advice from cancer patients as well as insights from clinicians and researchers.

The Friends of ANCHOR podcast is the brainchild of retired head teacher Mike Elder, who created the show to raise awareness for the charity and the support it provides for local people who require cancer or haematology care. 

Featured guests include our director Sarah-Jane Hogg, who was interviewed about her longstanding association with the charity, which was founded in 1997 by her father, Sir Jim Milne and Dr Andy Hutcheon, a now-retired senior oncologist.

In episode three, ANCHOR Unit patient John Greensmyth, who modelled in Friends of ANCHOR’s Brave event this year, shares his personal experience of having lived with cancer longer than he has lived without it.

Podcast host Mr Elder, who retired from his post as head of senior school at Robert Gordon’s College last year, said: “I ran a media project for S6 pupils at school, and one student was very keen to produce a podcast. She recorded some great content, but we didn’t ever manage to publish it as an actual podcast, so it became a bit of unfinished business to see if I could crack the podcasting challenge.”

After establishing Free Range Podcasting and launching ‘Where Your Treasure Is…’, a faith and finance podcast, Mike turned his attention to Friends of ANCHOR, a charity that supported him as he went through treatment for non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 2018.

He added: “I benefited greatly from various items and services provided by Friends of ANCHOR so, ever since then, I have been very keen to give something back, in any way that I can, to this fantastic charity.”

Episodes are released at the beginning of each month, with the fourth episode scheduled for November 1. It will feature Louise-Anne Budge, service and commissioning project manager for The ANCHOR Centre, which is due to open at Foresterhill in a year’s time.

Louise will tell listeners about the new Centre and the facilities it will provide, while December’s guest is fundraiser Matt Huntington, who will lift the lid on how he managed to run 10km every day last year to raise £34,000. Future guests will include NHS clinicians, former and current ANCHOR Unit patients, University of Aberdeen cancer researchers, and members of Friends of ANCHOR’s wellbeing team.

Erica Banks, communications lead for Friends of ANCHOR, said: “Pen and paper or social media are great methods for storytelling, but a podcast allows you to hear human stories in the most natural way possible; by listening. There’s a varied list of guests lined up for interviews and we’re looking forward to hearing from each of them.”

Some of the guests who feature on the podcast may be undergoing treatment for cancer or a haematology illness or may have received care in the past.

“Cancer is unfortunately so prevalent, and each person has their own way of dealing with the diagnosis itself, and its effect on their body and mind. We would love to see this podcast grow into a platform where people can share their own pearls of wisdom that could help someone else through their diagnosis and treatment,” added Erica.

One such person who has shared his perspective on the podcast already is 64-year-old John Greensmyth, who took part in Friends of ANCHOR’s Brave catwalk show in May.

John said: “It’s great that this podcast will spread the word about the services offered by Friends of ANCHOR and will help the charity to fulfil its mission of reaching out to cancer patients throughout the North-east. I am particularly looking forward to hearing from a range of contributors to the podcast, as that variety will broaden our horizons and increase awareness of the many different aspects of dealing with cancer.”

The podcast also features latest news from the charity, upcoming events, and stories from the archive of the organisation’s 25-year history.

Mr Elder, who trained as an English teacher, also hosts a short segment called ‘Finding the Words’, in which he and his wife Alison discuss the language associated with cancer and how important communication is when dealing with a serious illness.

Episodes are out now and anyone can listen by tapping here or by searching for ‘Friends of ANCHOR’ on any podcast platform.