Posted on Thursday 21 April 2022

in News

Supporting Ukrainian children with cancer in the UK – an update from Helen McShane, Director of Services & Influencing at Young Lives vs Cancer

We recently announced that together with the charity Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Group (CCLG), Young Lives vs Cancer is supporting Ukrainian children with cancer and their families who have arrived in the UK. The response from our supporters and partners has been so positive. 
 
It’s impossible to imagine what it’s like to flee your home, leave loved ones behind and arrive in a country where you don’t speak the language, and all of this while your child urgently needs cancer treatment. The trauma these families are going through is real and extreme, but they are not alone. We are here for them, and I am so incredibly proud of our expert Young Lives vs Cancer social workers and staff across the charity who are working hard to make sure these families get the emotional, practical and financial support they need to face cancer while they’re in the UK. 

Young Lives vs Cancer is supporting Ukrainian children with cancer and their families who have arrived in the UK.

Over the past few weeks our social workers have been meeting with the families and are hearing directly from them what their individual needs are. Support so far has included:  

  • Comforting children and their families and supporting medical staff to ensure treatment plans can be put in place.    
  • Working with families to fill the gaps in their basic needs – from clothing to baby beakers .
  • Liaising with the hospitals to prepare the children for their appointments and helping to get them there on time.
  • Taking time to work around language barriers and making sure families understand who people are, what treatment they’re having and how long it will last.
  • Young Lives vs Cancer Homes from Home staff will be welcoming families and enabling them to feel a sense of comfort in such uncertain times. From cooking meals that remind them of home to washing their children’s clothes and having a comfortable place away from hospital they can be together.
  • Many of the families are completely overwhelmed with all the information being thrown at them, not only about navigating cancer treatment, but their new life in a new country. We’re making sure language isn’t a barrier for families, so we’ve been working with CCLG to get information translated. 

Finally, I would like to say thank you to everyone who has sent messages of support since it was announced that Young Lives vs Cancer would be working with the children and families from Ukraine.  

Helen McShane, Director of Services & Influencing at Young Lives vs Cancer

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