Candlelighters have been trialling opening our Family Support Centre, The Square on Saturdays to increase access to our support for our families. On Saturdays at The Square, Lucy Peel and Jess Burton, two of our Family Support Workers have provided wonderful crafts, fun activities, and food offerings. Our Sarnies and Smoothies on a Saturday have gone down a treat! They have also ensured that spaces in The Square can be utilised to their full capacity such as the homework corner and the reading nook.

Our Family Support Manager, Lucy Junni, conducted research with families that showed the importance of sibling support during childhood cancer treatment. Opening The Square on Saturdays provides families more opportunities to spend time together while enjoying engaging activities like crafting or catching up on homework. The Square is a wonderful space that offers families a break from the clinical hospital setting.

Families have appreciated having access to The Square during the weekend and have given us some wonderful feedback.

‘I’m so grateful to be able to step away from the hospital to have this personal time to support my other child.’ – a mum visiting to complete some fun crafts with her child.

‘It’s amazing that I can come from the ward, have a drink and time for myself before taking some lunch back to the ward with me to have with my son’ – a parent taking advantage of our Sarnies and Smoothies on a Saturday.

‘Having the space has allowed me to step away with my daughter and do something fun and nice where we are not next to her sister’s hospital bed’ – another mum completing crafts with her daughter.

‘We’re not from Leeds and have had a hard journey for the last eight weeks. This is our first time at The Square and it was the first time me and my wife walked together, holding hands, and having a laugh since we came her, all thanks to you and this space.’ – husband and dad of a patient on the ward enjoying The Square’s wonderful setting and atmosphere.

We are so pleased to be able to extend the accessibility of our resources and provide parents, siblings, patients and other family members with a comfortable and welcoming environment. If you’re a family supported by Candlelighters, please feel free to pop by to say hello, participate in the activities, or just enjoy a sit-down with a brew!

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