Helping young people with cancer through the Coronavirus pandemic

The Child of Wales Awards is proud to be supporting Teenage Cancer Trust, the only UK charity dedicated to providing specialist nursing care and support to young people with cancer.

In these unprecedented times, we caught up with Teenage Cancer Trust to see how the charity is responding to the coronavirus pandemic.

The charity noted that many young people with cancer across the country are particularly at high risk from COVID-19 (Coronavirus). Many are facing great uncertainty and isolation. Cancer doesn’t stop for anything, so however long this crisis lasts, young people will need support now more than ever.

Debbie Jones, senior relationship manager, Wales, Teenage Cancer Trust, said it is doing everything they can to make sure its specialist nurses and dedicated Youth Support Coordinators are still there for young people when they’re needed.

“At the moment, young people being treated on a Teenage Cancer Trust unit or ward are continuing to receive care from specialist Teenage Cancer Trust staff. But as you’d expect, the charity is having to adapt to a rapidly changing situation,” she said.

“Therefore, this care might be delivered in a slightly different way, or even in a different place, depending on the needs of the NHS Trust in question. For example, chemotherapy may be moved from a Teenage Cancer Trust unit to another ward. 

“Keeping in touch with young people outside of their treatment, is also important to the charity as they provide emotional support and help these individuals stay positive and well. Many are in high-risk groups and will need to stay at home for 12 weeks, which may leave them very isolated.”

Teenage Cancer Trust Youth Support Coordinators are still working with young people going through cancer treatment; they may just be speaking to them by phone or online, instead of face to face in some cases.

However, the charity has postponed all of its events where young people with cancer are bought together outside of hospital, until further notice.

“Understandably, it is impossible to hold these events right now, but they are really important to young people. Sharing experiences and being able to meet and support peers is a vital way to help get through cancer and to get life back on track,” Debbie added.

“The charity is looking at alternative ways of providing this important support.”

Teenage Cancer Trust is working with other cancer charities and the NHS to make sure young people with cancer and their families have clear, consistent information and advice about what they should be doing to stay safe.

Although things are likely to change again, maybe many times as the situation moves forward, Teenage Cancer Trust will work with NHS Trusts to do everything possible to adapt to that too.

Young people with cancer shouldn’t face this crisis alone. That’s why the charity’s priority is to continue to provide services to young people with cancer, right now when they need it most. If you can help, then please do donate today.

“Stay at home, Wash your hands, Make a stand, We’ll get through this!”

This is the message from children and young people across Wales, hoping to spread a little bit of happiness to others whom may need it at this time.

Due to the current circumstances in the UK, presented by COVID-19. The Mark Jermin Stage School in Wales and its sister company Stage and Screen set their students a performance-based challenge to learn a song and dance whilst in isolation. This collective effort resulted in the video above, a powerful message to keep spirits high!

Mark Jermin, Director of Mark Jermin Stage Schools and Stage & Screen, said:

“We were absolutely overwhelmed by the response of our students, and the video we quickly edited has now been seen by thousands of people online.

“During this second week in isolation, we have set those same Welsh Children a second challenge – to use their talents to inspire not only each other, but to utilise their passion to reach far and wide in teaching their friends, their families, the different generations, work colleagues all over the UK, Europe and the World!”