Yesterday Gaby attended the launch of the CLIC Sargent Big Bags - which will help families UK-wide cope with the immediate impact of a child’s cancer diagnosis. She visited University College Hospital, where she met CLIC Sargent families and Social Workers.
CLIC Sargent is the UK’s leading cancer support charity for the young, providing practical, emotional and financial support.
This year, CLIC Sargent Social Workers will distribute more than 1,500 Big Bags, which contain information and useful items to help families immediately after a new cancer diagnosis in more than 20 hospitals.
Gaby said: "As an ambassador for CLIC Sargent, which provides cancer support for the young, I'm delighted to help launch the CLIC Sargent Big Bags scheme UK-wide. I've seen first-hand the difference a bag full of care can make to families coping with a new cancer diagnosis. I think CLIC Sargent Big Bags are a brilliant idea and I’ve been delighted to support CLIC Sargent for so many years.”
The CLIC Sargent Big Bags are designed to be given to parents and carers of children aged 0-15, by a CLIC Sargent Social Worker at the initial meeting with the family, often just hours after diagnosis.
The big purple bags contain items including a washbag with essentials such as a toothbrush, soap and shampoo, tea and coffee supplies, a travel mug, a cuddly toy and What now? - CLIC Sargent’s booklet to help parents manage the impact of their child’s diagnosis on the family’s day-to-day life.
The unique service is being rolled out UK-wide after a successful pilot launch in seven hospitals.
Kate Lee, CLIC Sargent Chief Executive, said: “A cancer diagnosis can immediately turn a family’s life upside down. The CLIC Sargent Big Bags are particularly useful for families who may not even have the chance to go home between their child being diagnosed and admitted to hospital.
“The pilot scheme received overwhelmingly positive feedback and the bags were greatly appreciated by the vast majority of parents and carers, who saw them as a positive and practical token of support at a difficult time.
“Furthermore, the cost of the bag contents if bought in a hospital shop would total more than £50 so we are also saving parents vital cash at an expensive time.”