Listening to children and young people

At CLIC Sargent we take the views of children and young people with cancer seriously. We use these views to shape our work.

Listening to children and young people

We believe that if you've had cancer, you’re the best person to explain what it's really like and tell us what support is needed.

Children and young people aged seven to 24 who've been diagnosed with cancer have greatly influenced our work.

Here are some of the key things children and young people have said and what’s changed because of it:

Education
Information
Development
Next steps

Education

Children and young people have told CLIC Sargent that cancer has a significant impact on their education:

  • That they need more help to keep up with their education during treatment
  • That support when they return to school after being absent for treatment is crucial.

They also told us that maintaining contact with friends can be difficult during this time.

We are using this information to raise awareness and ensure better understanding amongst education professionals and to influence government to put policies and legislation in place that will support children and young people with cancer to get the help they need to reach their potential.

Information

Children aged seven to 13 have told us that they sometimes have questions that their parents can’t answer, and that having somewhere where they can get information and a way to ask questions related to their lives during and after cancer would help them feel more informed.

Shout Out! magazine

We've worked with children to develop a magazine named Shout Out! specifically aimed at seven to 13 year olds.

The first issue was launched in summer 2012 packed full of fun things for children to do, as well as useful and easy information about childhood cancer and its effects.

Children continue to be at the heart of the quarterly magazine, providing reviews, stories, drawings and more - making it an enjoyable and useful resource for children in hospital and at home.

Making sense of it all - A guide for young people

In 2012 we worked closely with young people to develop a new resource for 16 to 24 year olds who have just been diagnosed with cancer.

They helped us to understand the impact a cancer diagnosis can have on key areas of their lives such as relationships, education, finances and work. They also told us the things it was important for them to know at the time they were diagnosed.

Making sense of it all is full of useful and age-appropriate information to help young people navigate their way through the weeks and months following diagnosis.

Development

Young people's community workers pilot

Young people aged 16 to 24 told us that they need age-appropriate specialist support, so over the last six years we have introduced Young People Social Workers based at principal treatment centres.

Young people also told us that they need support closer to where they live, so in September 2011 we piloted a new role, the Young People’s Community Worker.

The pilot took place over two years and involved 220 young people who were supported by the service. 57 young people shared their views as part of the pilot evaluation. They told us that support with education, employment and training was really important to them, as well as reducing social isolation during treatment. Emotional support was their priority need and one where the pilot had a significant impact.

This feedback has provided CLIC Sargent with an in-depth understanding of the specific needs of this age group and will help us to shape and refine our future services for young people.

You can read the report below:

Next steps

We will continue to help children and young people aged seven to 24 to share their views and influence our work.

We’ll do this by offering a range of age and ability-appropriate opportunities for children and young people to share their views, so that they can choose the way that is most appropriate to them.

These opportunities will be promoted through our care teams, Shout Out! magazine, social media and our website, so that as many children and young people as possible are able to have their say.

Find out more

For more information, please contact CLIC Sargent User Participation Manager, Rebecca Horder on 0117 314 8665 or email: rebecca.horder@clicsargent.org.uk.

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