What support is needed?
One of the major gaps in support exists for the many young people who receive their treatment locally. Most of our social workers are based in the 18 regional principal treatment centres for teenagers and young adults with cancer, and that means young people treated locally often do not have access to any practical and emotional support.
Young people’s community workers
In 2011 we decided to pilot a new role – the young people’s community worker. They provide support to young people with cancer in their own community, with a particular emphasis on supporting their emotional wellbeing and resilience, reducing social isolation and helping with education, employment and training issues they face.
We employed five young people’s community workers in Birmingham, Southampton, Cambridge, Glasgow and Nottingham during the pilot, and commissioned an independent consultant, Kate Gledhill, who has 30 years’ experience of working with children and young people, to evaluate whether this new role could effectively meet the gap in support that currently exists.
57 young people supported by the service contributed to the evaluation, alongside doctors, nurses and other health care professionals who support young people with cancer in the pilot areas.
Kate’s report has concluded that the role has the potential to transform the practical and emotional support available to young people with cancer. Her report is available to download here.
CLIC Sargent has decided to make expansion of our services to young people a priority in the next five years. This will include more than doubling the number of care professionals we have to support to young people with cancer, including providing young people’s community workers in every part of UK, and improving online support to young people. We need to increase our income by around a third between 2012/13 and 2017/18 to fund this expansion.
You can read the report below: