Posted on Tuesday 30 April 2024

in News, Press releases

Young Lives vs Cancer calls on the next Government to commit to transforming the experiences and futures of children and young people with cancer

Young Lives vs Cancer, the UK’s leading charity for children and young people with cancer (0-25), is calling on all political parties to commit to transforming the experiences and futures of children and young people with cancer ahead of the next general election.  

Every year in the UK, over 4,000 children and young people under 25 receive the devastating news they have cancer.  With ten losing their lives each week, cancer is still the leading cause of death by disease among children and young people in the UK. Despite these alarming statistics, young cancer patients frequently find themselves overlooked in policy decisions and healthcare and cancer strategies.

Young Lives vs Cancer strongly believes the unique aspects of cancer in children and young people, as well as their distinct needs and experiences, need a tailored strategic approach.  To transform cancer care and support for children and young people, the charity is calling on all political parties to commit to:   

1. A Children and Young People’s Cancer Plan – a national strategy for England to ensure young cancer patients are not left behind 

 2. Ensuring travel costs for children are not a barrier to accessing treatment by introducing a Young Cancer Patient Travel Fund 

 3. Welfare and Benefits support that works for children and young people with cancer and their families – including providing them more quickly, and easier to access 

4. Mental Health provision that is available for all young cancer patients and their families when they need it, where they need it 

5. Improved patient experience of diagnosis and post treatment support  

Rachel Kirby-Rider, Chief Executive at Young Lives vs Cancer, says: “Children and young people with cancer deserve better. Young Lives vs Cancer knows a lot needs to change to make sure they and their families get all the care and support they need, when they need it. From earlier diagnosis, to effective financial and mental health support, and everything in between during their treatment and beyond.  

“The 2024 General Election is a once in a generation opportunity for all political parties and the next UK Government to commit to delivering the changes that children and young people with cancer need. The five commitments in our manifesto cover some of the key areas which, children, young people, and their families tell us need to change, and that we think are top priorities for the next UK Government to act on.”

Young Lives vs Cancer puts the voices and experiences of children and young people with cancer, and their families, at the heart of everything they do. The five areas in the manifesto are all areas that young cancer patients, and those who support them, have told the charity are important and are based on their lived experience. These are backed up by the research and evidence produced nationally by the charity. 

For more information about Young Lives vs Cancer’s Manifesto for children and young people with cancer, and the five policy commitments they are calling for, please read the full manifesto or visit: www.younglivesvscancer.org.uk/manifesto 

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