A new, dedicated space for young people with cancer has been unveiled at the Cancer Centre’s Bridgewater Suite.
For teenagers and young adults, some as young as 16, the hospital can be a difficult environment, often surrounded by other patients who are much older than them and with few age-appropriate distractions to pass the time.
Giving young people a space of their own was a key priority for staff, particularly the two specialist nurses funded by Friends of the Cancer Centre who are dedicated to supporting young patients. Working in partnership with Friends of the Cancer Centre, and with funding from Cash for Kids NI, the team helped create the new ‘Hub’ to meet the needs of their patients. The Hub – which features comfortable seating, TV, games consoles and adjustable/mood lighting – provides a more welcoming, age appropriate environment for young patients and their families.
Colleen Shaw, chief executive of Friends of the Cancer Centre, said:
“We are incredibly grateful to Cash for Kids NI for helping us create ‘The Hub’. The idea of an age appropriate space was first identified in 2014 as part of a research project by the Teenage and Young Adult (TYA) nursing and social work team who interviewed young people about their needs when undergoing cancer treatment. Once identified, additional work ensued to source the appropriate space for it in the hospital. We are delighted that thanks to substantial funding from Cash for Kids NI, we have been able to make the idea a reality. ‘The Hub’ will now benefit over 80 young people and their families attending the Cancer Centre in Belfast for treatment and appointments.”
Darren Fowler, Regional Charity Manager from Cash for Kids NI, said:
We are delighted that we’ve been able to help fund ‘The Hub’ at the Cancer Centre in Belfast. It’s the generosity of Cash for Kids NI supporters that makes projects such as this a reality. Everything raised in Northern Ireland stays in Northern Ireland and we are thrilled to be able to fund such a vital project to help local children and young people.”