Meet our new Cancer Support Specialists
Gill, Christina and Julie have recently joined our services team as Cancer Support Specialists. They will be delivering emotional, social and therapeutic support to children and young people impacted by cancer, helping them to express their feelings, manage their emotions and build resilience.
When I first meet a family living with a cancer diagnosis, they are often at their most vulnerable and are seeking support. Knowing that someone is there to provide a listening ear, advice, resources and importantly a lot of fun, is reassuring for families and to make any positive difference, no matter how small, means a lot to me.
I support children and young people who are diagnosed with cancer, their brothers and sisters, and young people who have a parent with cancer. I work with them individually to build trust and rapport, and to enable them to talk openly and get much-needed emotional support provided by therapeutic interventions. I also bring children and young people aged 8-17 together in our group work programme, so they can meet their peers with a similar cancer experience to build friendships and connections, gain support, develop skills and cope better with cancer in a supportive group environment.
Working for Cancer Fund For Children is a privilege; the families are at the centre of everything we do, and I am proud to be part of a team providing first class care and support to families impacted by a cancer diagnosis and its treatment.
Gill, Cancer Support Specialist
My role is about helping young people to help themselves. Being able to support young people to identify how cancer being present in their live has affected them and then working with them to highlight how they can help themselves by noticing which coping skills work for them or which “tools” they can add to their self-help tool kits is a complete privilege. I really enjoy being able to hold space with these young people, being a listening ear and of course encouraging them to have fun!
I work with young people who are either diagnosed with cancer or have a parent or sibling that has cancer. I work with the family to see what support can be provided for them and create an action plan to put this support in place. This can range from individual work to group work. Individual work involves working with the young people on a one-to-one basis, providing therapeutic support to explore how cancer has impacted their lives and identifying ways they can help themselves through being creative, using reflection and mindfulness etc. Groupwork involves bringing young people together so they can meet their peers who have a similar experience so they can build connections and feel supported.
Being there to support families as they navigate their cancer journey is a privilege. The opportunity to be present in these families lives and hold space for them when they are going through such a difficult and challenging time is so special.
Christina, Cancer Support Specialist
My role is to support children and young people aged 5-24 years, and their families, who have been impacted by cancer. I work with people one to one, at their home, in their school or out in their community, offering practical and emotional support to help families navigate their journey through cancer together. I play lots of fun and creative games and work with a child led approach to support children and young people in being able to process what is happening and how they are feeling.
Sometimes it can really help children, young people and parents to have someone else to talk to; someone who is not a close friend or family member and I’m privileged to be in the position to offer this to families. I love meeting new people and hearing their stories. I also really enjoy getting to know children and young people and working with them to create resources that will help them understand and manage their feelings and emotions.
I love that in this role, I am constantly learning. The children and young people I work with are so resilient, creative, and wise and they teach me something new every day. I am also part of a brilliant and experienced team who offer support and guidance.
Julie, Cancer Support Specialist