Posted on Thursday 11 February 2021

in News

Three cancer charities form partnership to better support young people with cancer amid pandemic pressures

Three leading cancer charities have formed a partnership to better support children and young people affected by cancer. CLIC Sargent, Teenage Cancer Trust and the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust are collaborating to make sure young cancer patients get the support they need during the Coronavirus pandemic and beyond.

The ongoing pandemic has had a considerable impact on the charity sector with an increased demand for support services, coupled with a devastating decline in fundraising income. By joining forces, the three charities will increase their individual impact, reduce duplication and have a shared voice on issues that matter most to children and young people with cancer.

The partnership will allow the charities to identify barriers to care and seek out joint solutions. It will ensure that children and young people diagnosed with cancer get timely access to the right skilled support at key stages of their cancer journeys, from diagnosis to living beyond cancer.

Teenage Cancer Trust and CLIC Sargent’s first joint campaign, ‘Hand to Hold’, is raising awareness of the experiences young people with cancer are having due to the pandemic. As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, some young people are hearing the news they have cancer alone, or facing treatment alone. The charities’ campaign highlights this issue and asks others to show their support for young cancer patients.

Each charity brings different expertise and services to the partnership – through its youth support coordinators, specialist nurses and age-appropriate hospital units, Teenage Cancer Trust provides specialist nursing care and emotional support, putting young people with cancer in the best place physically, mentally and emotionally for their cancer treatment and beyond.

Meanwhile CLIC Sargent provides a social work service for children and young people aged 0-24 who have cancer, and their families. CLIC Sargent’s frontline social care teams help limit the impact of cancer on life outside of treatment, with an emphasis on mental health and wellbeing. The charity also provides financial grants and free accommodation near to hospitals so families can stay together while children and young people undergo treatment.

When treatment ends The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust’s work begins as for many young people, picking up from where they left off before cancer just isn’t possible. Through sailing and UK-wide outdoor activities, the Trust inspires young people to believe in a brighter future.

The three charities have worked collaboratively in the past, from sharing rooms or offices in hospitals, to developing the Children and Young People’s Cancer Coalition together – a CEO-led charity coalition of 40 charities that aims to improve outcomes for children and young people with cancer by speaking up on issues that matter to them.

Rachel Kirby-Rider, CLIC Sargent’s Chief Executive said: “We are delighted to announce our partnership with Teenage Cancer Trust and Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted that there has never been a greater need for collaboration between charities with shared aims during what has been an extremely challenging time for the sector. This is an exciting opportunity for us to unite, play to our strengths and, together, reach more children and young people affected by cancer.

“Like all UK charities, all three of us are facing a substantial impact on our ability to raise funds. This comes at a time when families and young people need more support than ever before – more and more are struggling financially and emotionally, with the pandemic causing added stress and worry.

“This new partnership enables us all to focus our work on where we can deliver the most impact, protecting vital frontline services and care. Never has there been a more important time for charities to come together to ensure we can do more and reach more children and young people with cancer.”

Kate Collins, Chief Executive of Teenage Cancer Trust, said: “After the immediate impacts of the pandemic on all our charities where we all face increased need and dramatically reduced income – it is clear that now is not the time for charities to retreat and compete. Now is the time for us to focus on impact and how we best meet the needs of the young people with cancer that we all exist to serve.

“Those needs might be best met through Teenage Cancer Trust’s units across the UK and our specialist clinical & support teams; through CLIC Sargent’s excellent social care offer or through Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust’s established programme that rebuilds confidence after cancer treatment. At the heart of this partnership working is the clear commitment to make sure we avoid duplication, put supporter donations to best use and – most of all – making sure that young people with cancer are stewarded through – and are able to access – the very different support all our charities offer.  I am delighted to work alongside Rachel, Frank and their teams and am looking forward to what we can all achieve together.”

Frank Fletcher, Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust CEO, said: “Isolation, loneliness, anxiety, anger and fear are all challenges young people, and their families, experience during and after cancer treatment. COVID-19 has amplified each of these to unimaginable levels.

“This partnership will help every young person get the support they need at whatever stage of their treatment and recovery they are at. Every young person should feel positive, accepted, confident and independent as they start looking towards a future that they might never have thought was possible after a cancer diagnosis.

“By forming this partnership, there is now an established path to give all young people living through and beyond cancer the best chance of realising their potential.”


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