When a child diagnosed with cancer is admitted to hospital, it can be an incredibly tough time for them and their whole family. Because of the generosity of supporters like you, our Family Support Team are at the hospital six days a week to make this difficult time a little easier for families. They work incredibly hard to make the wards and clinic feel less clinical and more enjoyable, bringing some comfort and fun to the hospital environment.

Ryan – one of our fabulous Family Support Workers – shares some recent stories from the hospital.

Ryan – “We went all out at the hospital for the Candlelighters ‘Pink it Up’ campaign week in June! While Pink It Up fundraising was going on out in the community, we made sure there were activities every day at the hospital for children and families, so they didn’t miss out on the fun. There were pink-themed games and crafts, including making a pink fort out of cardboard with some of the patients, and decorating biscuits and cakes. I even got gunged!

Families love having the Candlelighters Pavilion near the ward. It’s a great space, where they can just have a bit of normality and spend time together. We’ve held some great events in there for families recently, including a 4th July party, complete with decorations and American hotdogs, and a Father’s Day quiz, where patients answered questions about their own dads. These events are really valuable, as they give family members a chance to just have a bit of fun and escapism, and also help the families at the hospital get to know each other and build a support network.”

We also use the Pavilion for one-to-one time with children to give them some time away from the ward and the chance to have a chat. Recently, I spent some time with a patient and his mum in the Pavilion while we made SpongeBob figures out of clay.”

When families are staying on the ward, everyday activities can become impossible. We’re there to make the day-to-day living with cancer a little more bearable for these families and, if there’s something we can do that will make their day just a bit easier, that’s amazing for us.

Recently, a patient was staying in an isolation room on the ward with their family. Being in isolation meant they needed to wear clean clothes every day. As the family were there for some time and had no way of doing laundry at the hospital, they would have had to wear hospital gowns to comply with isolation rules. However, we were able to do their laundry for them six days a week, so they could wear their own clothes and be more comfortable.”

The patient’s mum told us, “I honestly don’t know what we would have done without you. I wouldn’t have been able to afford to do this for him.

The vital support that our amazing Family Support Workers give to families facing childhood cancer is only possible because of your amazing generosity. Thank you for bringing support to families when they need it most.

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