I sincerely hope that none of you will ever need this, but if you do know of someone who could use it, it sounds like a really useful resource, focusing on practical things that could really help lighten the load slightly.
With 10 children a day being diagnosed with cancer and many having to spend extended periods of time in hospital, it is hoped that a new website from the Children’s Cancer Recovery Project - http://childrenscancerrecovery.org.uk – will offer welcomed advice and support to parents and families affected by the disease.
Developed using feedback from parents about what is really needed during difficult times, the site is a comprehensive resource full of practical advice, information and ‘Top Tips’ as well as details about financial grants for families. The charity’s lovable mascot ‘Hugs the Bear’ features on the site wearing a bandana to help children and young people feel less self-conscious about losing their hair. Children receive the bear and other useful toys from the charity when they are in hospital undergoing treatment. These gifts help them to remain positive. The bear was developed in consultation with children and has especially soft fur and up-reaching arms to welcome a hug.
Hannah Bellamy, Executive Director of Cancer Recovery Foundation, said; “Our experience with the parents of children affected by cancer let us know that they needed their own very specific website; one that focuses on them and their needs. The on-going treatment can be an extremely lonely time, but we are here to help. We understand it is hard to deal with feelings, explain things to a sick child and deal with lifestyle changes, tough treatments and extended hospital stays. Many families also face financial difficulties when their child has cancer and we want them to know they can apply for our emergency grants. Easing the financial pressure can be a real help in hard and stressful times”.
She added; “The site also encourages Health Professionals to learn more about our services and pass vital details on to parents who need support and assistance, or just a place that they know cares about them.”
The site is launched as the charity is sending out its Easter gift bags to thousands of children across the country. Orders are up 12% from last year as a result of more community nursing teams, Radiotherapy and MRI departments knowing about the organisation and the work they do. The toys and books are chosen specifically to help children through their hospital stay by distracting them, comforting them, enabling them to talk about their feelings and developing the skills they need both now and in the future.
Rosey Walters, Therapy Radiographer at the Bristol Haematology and Oncology Centre, commented; "They really help us support the children through their radiotherapy experience, and help take children’s minds off the treatment. The Hugs bears are really useful to show the children how to lie nice and still- just like their new toy!"
For more information go to http://childrenscancerrecovery.org.uk
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