My Parent Has Cancer

Finding out your parent has cancer can be a confusing and frightening time.

Our Young Shoulders Programme helps young people aged 0-24 years old when their mum or dad has been diagnosed with cancer

Our team of Young Shoulders Specialists work in family homes and communities across Northern Ireland. They are here to help you understand what you are going through and to help you cope better with your mum, dad, or carer’s cancer.

Our Young Shoulders Specialists are professionally trained in the issues facing young people living with cancer and are here to provide you with the support that is right for you. They will discuss your individual needs, and working with you will provide tailored support to help you cope better.

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Individual Support

Our Young Shoulders Specialists are here to provide you with individual support in your home and in your community. Individual Support gives you the opportunity to speak to someone outside your family.

Together with your Young Shoulders Specialist you can:

  • Speak confidentially about how you feel
  • Ask questions about anything that is worrying you
  • Be introduced to other young people going through a similar experience
  • Take part in activities that are fun and will help you feel less isolated
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Residential Group Support

If you are between 8-11 years old or 12-17 years old we will also support you through group work at our residential centre in Newcastle Co. Down and in your community.

Residential Group Support brings young people going through a similar experience together to have fun and make new friends. We provide lots of exciting opportunities and experiences such as camping, rock climbing, music workshops, and canoeing.

Taking part in group work will help you:

  • Spend time with young people your own age
  • Meet and make new friends
  • Take part in activities
  • Make memories
  • Learn new skills
  • Grow in confidence
  • Have fun
  • Develop coping skills
  • Build resilience
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Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award

If you are between 14-17 years old and are being supported by our Young Shoulders Programme you can complete the Bronze Duke of Edinburgh’s Award with Cancer Fund for Children (we are a Duke of Edinburgh licensed organisation). This world leading youth achievement award will give you the opportunity to experience new activities and develop your skills. Find out more about the Duke of Edinburgh scheme here.

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Financial Support

Families staying at either our therapeutic short break centre, Daisy Lodge or our self-catering cottages in Coleraine can claim a Travel for Short Breaks grant which covers the costs of travel to and from their short break destination, wherever they live in Ireland.

Who can apply: Families who have a child (0-24) diagnosed with cancer, young adults (18-24) and families where a parent has been diagnosed with cancer. For more info read our Travel for Short Breaks Grant FAQs

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Bereavement Support

We understand that the loss of a parent has a devastating impact on families.  Bereaved families who are being supported by the Young Shoulders Programme are welcome to take a therapeutic short break at Daisy Lodge or a self-catering break at the Cottages in Coleraine.

For more information about the support available to bereaved families please contact Cancer Fund for Children’s Community Services Manager on 028 9080 5599 or email support@cancerfundforchildren.com.

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Therapeutic Short Breaks