A support group for cancer sufferers has held its first masterclass – in make-up and beauty skills.

The Living Tree invited women with any form of the disease to a free two-hour class at the Quaker Meeting House in Bridport.

The class was part of a Look Good Feel Better (LGFB) charity’s series of masterclasses.

LGFB was formed 20 years ago specifically to help women and teenagers combat the visible side-effects of their cancer treatment. And three local beauticians volunteered to join in, under the guidance of LGFB’s Mary Auger, who led the class.

Bridport’s Beauty and Beyond salon and Gould’s department store in Dorchester helped out by supplying beauty products so that each “pupil” could take home a goody bag.

Breast cancer sufferer Lynne Pile from Salway Ash who was one of the first members of The Living Tree, said she knew how important it was to build confidence in cancer sufferers during and after treatment. She had two operations, six months of chemotherapy and a course of radiotherapy and lost her waist-length hair as a result of the treatment.

“This afternoon is more than good fun,” she said.

“It is something to rebuild confidence. It takes a long time to see the same person looking back at you in the mirror again.

“But I do see a new, stronger person and you need that confidence to face all you have to face.”

Beauty therapist and make-up artist Claire Bowring said she had wanted to take part in a Look Good Feel Better programme.

“I saw this was coming up on Twitter and that it was in Bridport which as great as I had always wanted to get involved,” she added. One of the founders of The Living Tree, Jo Millar welcomed this chance for the national charity Look Good Feel Better to offer a local workshop having experience one in Exeter.

“There are many visible signs of cancer treatment, like losing your eyelashes, and I picked up lots of hints and tips on how to define my eyebrows and which colours suited me, “ she said of the Exeter class.

“Above all, the class was relaxed and great fun – a much needed bit of me-time away from hospital and clinics!”

The two-hour session took the group through a specially designed ten-step skincare and make-up regime. The aim is to help the wellbeing and confidence of people undergoing treatment for any sort of cancer, improving their self-image and appearance while meeting other people in a similar situation.