A CANCER survivor has started a poetry workshop to help other people who are going through treatment.

Dr Niki Strange, a digital media consultant from Brighton, was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer in 2019.

During chemotherapy, Niki submitted one of her poems to a Brighton and Hove Arts Council competition and out of 700 entries across Sussex, she came second.

The Argus: The Macmillan Horizon Centre in Brighton.The Macmillan Horizon Centre in Brighton.

After performing the poem live at a poetry festival at the Old Market theatre in Upper Market Street, Brighton, Niki said she wanted to use poetry to help others affected by cancer.

She is now offering a 12-week online poetry workshop based at the Macmillan Cancer Centre in Bristol Gate, Brighton.

Each week the group will explore a different poem, from the classic to the contemporary, which will cover themes such as love, hope, uncertainty, family and place.

Niki said: “The wonderful Macmillan Horizon Centre was a haven during and after my cancer treatment.


“I took part in a range of complementary therapies and classes, from breathing workshops to aromatherapy massages, that gave my battered body and soul some much-needed tender loving care.

“The counselling services helped me find ways to process the experience of two separate cancer diagnoses within the space of a year.

“The centre is a very special place and I know many others feel the same way about it as I do.


“After each session I felt such immense gratitude to the people volunteering. It would take my breath away.”

Niki hopes to write more of her own poetry, taking inspiration from her cancer experience.

She is being mentored by Dr Jess Moriarty, course leader in creative writing at the University of Brighton.

Jess said: “Poetry can take us to those places that words can’t always reach and offer insights into human experiences that move us, but also raise empathy and develop understanding.

“Niki’s writing gets straight to the heart of lived experiences and these workshops will support people to tell and share stories, developing a sense of connection and community.

“It is a needed and important project, and I am thrilled Niki and Macmillan have been awarded funding to support people affected by cancer.”

Niki said that while her cancer treatment may be over, she will feel connected to Macmillan for the rest of her life.

She said: “Whether it’s through my work with the Horizon Centre, volunteering or fundraising, I want to make sure that other people affected by cancer benefit from their incredibly important services and support, as I did.

“With Macmillan there, I never felt alone.”

The free online pop-in workshops start on January 28 and will be held every Thursday from 11am to noon over 12 weeks.

To book, call Macmillan Horizon Centre Reception on 01273 468770 or email horizoncentre@macmillan.org.uk.