The Living Tree - Cancer Support Charity

The Living Tree - Cancer Support Charity

At a glance


  • Health and well being / research and care

Other details

Organisation type: 
Geographical remit: 


The Living Tree is a registered charity which offers friendship, creative activities & holistic therapies, relevant diet & lifestyle information for anyone with any cancer. We offer mutual support, helping people cope with the fear, anxiety, isolation or stress that cancer can bring by offering a chance to unwind and share laughter (we do a lot of this!) and coping strategies. We also share our knowledge and information about services and resources in the locality.

There is currently no cancer care centre in Dorset to help people living with cancer take back control of their health and lifestyle. Our nearest centres are The Force in Exeter and the Penny Brohn Centre in Bristol. There are excellent disease specific support groups, usually supported by Clinical Nurse Specialists, but few are very local and some are quite a distance away in Poole.

The Living Tree was set up in October 2012. We became a small “community group” in July 2016. We were given a start-up grant for 2013 by Macmillan Cancer Support. The Living Tree became a charity in March 2020, our registered charity number is: 1188213.

MacMillan made a video of the Living Tree, its members, its activities and the way it works in the summer of 2019, which you can view below.


FRIDAY DROP-IN - We meet weekly on a Friday afternoon over a cup of tea in comfortable surroundings at the Friends Meeting House, South Street, Bridport between 2.00-4.00pm. As a rule, we have a speaker or demonstration first and finish the afternoon chatting, sharing experiences and exchanging thoughts. People are welcome to drop in for part of the afternoon – not everyone can spare the full two hours. Also, everyone is free to “pick and mix”, there is no obligation or even expectation to attend each and every Friday. In fact, the Living Tree supports members who never attend meetings at all.

We have a programme of speakers and therapists on a wide variety of relevant topics such as complementary therapies, exercise, relaxation, diet and nutrition, creative arts for those with cancer, NHS support. We’ve had talks and demonstrations on Dorset Cancer Care, acupuncture, reflexology, soul midwives, diet and nutrition, homeopathy and tried out Qigong, as well as paper crafts, mindfulness, singing and playing the ukulele! We have regular gentle stretch & relaxation times.


We began meeting in November 2020 and have gradually been turning two pieces of grass and mud  into two  allotment plots. Meeting outdoors and growing healthy vegetables and fruits is the icing on the cake. However, the very special thing about it is that a group of people meet each week and have fun and banter and chat and support each other when they need it. Some weeks we’ve had music, other weeks we’ve had talks, but generally we potter, doing as little or as much as everyone wants or feels able to do. 

We will definitely repeat our harvest supper evening when we all gathered and cooked our produce outside together and one of our musically talented members wrote and played music. It was such a lovely evening with such a lovely atmosphere.

TABLE TENNIS - Living Tree Table Tennis at Salway Ash Village Hall takes place on Mondays from 10-11.30am.

Please bring your own bat, but we do have some available if you don’t have one; balls are provided. Please bring your own drink too. The hall is well ventilated and we still carry out cleaning before and after the session and use clean balls for each game.

We also play social table tennis at Bridport Leisure Centre in the Rugby Pavilion from 10:30-12 noon every Friday. All are welcome, bats and balls supplied, just bring your enthusiasm. People of all abilities are welcome.

AMBLERS WALKS - The Amblers walks, which are are based in and around the Bridport area, take place once or twice a month, are weather-dependent and vary in length from around 2-6miles as well as level of difficulty. The walks offer you the opportunity for exercise in the fresh air, to explore the natural world, to relax, to talk and to make new friends.

SPLASH CLUB - Living Tree Splash Club is held at Highland’s End, Eype.  It occurs weekly on Thursday evenings from 7-8pm

All members, partners and carers are welcome. You can bring one guest. 

THERAPIST PARTNERSHIPS - In February 2020 we launched our partnership with local complementary therapists.

BUDDIES - The trustees would like to extend the Telephone Support Service to include one to one, face to face contacts for anyone who feels they would like some company occasionally, especially those who may just be coming out of isolation/quarantine or who may be new to LT.


Current opportunities

THE LIVING TREE - a self-help support group for people who have experienced cancer and for their families and/or carers is seeking Trustees.