Encore is a free eight week program designed specifically for women who have experienced breast cancer to improve and retain mobility and flexibility in the upper limbs, confidence and general wellbeing. YWCA Encore is a holistic program, helping to create positive self-esteem and body image and a positive attitude to life and health.

After breast cancer surgery and treatment, many women experience numbness, pins and needles, a loss of mobility and strength and discomfort in their upper bodies. Simple things like pegging the washing and carrying children can become difficult. YWCA Encore consists of specially designed gentle exercise, relaxation, support and information for women who have experienced breast cancer at any time in their life.

The exercises help strengthen arms, shoulders and chest and improve flexibility and mobility. The exercises can also help to improve general fitness and wellbeing, reduce the risk of lymphedema, aid the management of lymphedema and reduce fatigue associated with treatment.encore

The program also offers information through guest speakers, links into local services and an opportunity to connect with women who share a similar experience in a safe, fun and supportive environment. Many great friendships have been formed at YWCA Encore programs.

The YWCA Hunter runs six programs (each program runs for eight weeks) per year.


Program Dates for 2020

Dates:   Monday 3rd February – Monday 23rd March 2020
Time:     1.15pm – 3.15pm
Venue:   Valentine Hydrotherapy Pool, 1A St John’s Dr, Croudace Bay

Dates:   Tuesday 4th February – Tuesday 24th March 2020
Time:     4.15pm – 6.15pm
Venue:   Newcastle Senior School, 66 Harriet Street, Waratah

Salamander Bay
Dates:   Friday 7th February – Friday 27th March 2020
Time:     12.30pm – 2.30pm
Venue:   Salamander Haven Village, Diemars Rd, Salamander Bay


More information, please phone 4929 2954 or email encore.ywcahunter@bigpond.com


What women tell us –

“It’s a fabulous programme and the girls are very helpful and caring, please can I do it again!!” 

“Attending the program has given me permission to treat my breast cancer as a manageable condition, with gentle recuperative exercises that also educate everyone on the how and why behind them. The instructors are so very supportive and encouraging.” 

I have reduced 3.5 cm from my arm, 2 cm along the rest of my arm due to a combination of bandaging and 2 days a week and lymphedema physio. I would not have even gone to the lymphedema physio if it had not been for the information I received at Encore. Thank you” 



2015 turned out to be one of the best years of my life which neither I nor my family thought would be the case when Dr Clarke hit me with my diagnosis in August 2014.

 I loved the Encore program I did at the same time last year – it most definitely got me out and about and back on track with my fitness.  Having completed my treatment by March last year I spent much of the rest of the year working on my health and fitness.  I managed to lose the chemo weight (some 16kgs) and have been seeing a PT instructor every week to keep me on track.  I am now in better shape than I have been for many years.  This is not, by the way, me blowing my own trumpet but rather, I hope, proof that it is possible for people to turn their life around from a fitness perspective after cancer treatment.  When I was at an Encore session last year one of the ladies said that she did not believe it possible to get fitness back after chemo and that got me thinking about whether or not that was true – and it certainly got me thinking that I would like to have a damn good try at proving that for me it wouldn’t be the case. 

So now 12 months on I run, cycle and love life with a passion!  I did a Pink Tri in Sydney in October as a Team and we won our Event and had an absolutely tremendous day in a remarkable atmosphere, also raising valuable funds for breast cancer Research so it was a win/win situation!  I am planning a half marathon in 2016 to keep me focused and on my toes next.

So although I won’t attend the Course this time, I wish you all the very best.  Without Encore I wouldn’t be here now so a big thanks to you all for the amazing work you do and I hope lots of people come through the Program in 2016 and if I can do anything to help please don’t hesitate to contact me.

And Linda has also written a book on funny things during her difficult time of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. If you are interested in purchasing her book which is worth a good laugh, all funds go to raising money for breast cancer research. Follow this link.



When people donate Anne gets an email from NBCF and as long as people leave a current, valid email address on the Everyday Hero page I contact them directly to get a postal address and then send them out a copy of the book.  Alternatively people can call me directly here and I take their details, make the donation on their behalf and then send them an email confirmation through the site to confirm.  It is a more long winded process but works for those people for whom the internet/computers is not in their comfort zone or is not available to them.